According to the World Health Organization, one in six people over sixty experience abuse. Indeed, the World Health Organization has marked elder abuse as a significant public health problem. Florida law prohibits elder abuse and neglect.
If you or a loved one have experienced elder abuse, you should speak to a Florida personal injury attorney. An attorney can advocate for you and protect your rights. Call The Watson Firm, PLLC at 850-607-2929 or reach out online to connect with an attorney.
What Is Elder Abuse?
Elder abuse is the abuse of people aged sixty and older. The Centers for Disease Control defines elder abuse as an intentional act or failure to act that harms an older adult or creates a risk of harm to an older adult.
Elder abuse includes:
- Physical abuse
- Psychological abuse
- Financial abuse
- Sexual abuse.
What Are The Effects Of Elder Abuse?
Elder abuse has devastating effects. Elder abuse can harm your physical health and mental health. It can cause depression, cognitive decline, and death. Elder abuse can also affect you financially, leading to bad financial outcomes. The impact elder abuse has on your life is severe. Contact a Florida attorney today if you or a loved one are experiencing elder abuse.
What Is Elder Neglect?
Generally, when we talk about elder abuse, we also consider elder neglect. Neglect occurs when a caregiver fails to act. For instance, neglect may occur when the caregiver does not provide for the older person's needs. Neglect can cause disability and death in older adults. Examples of neglect include:
- Failing to provide food
- Failing to provide water
- Failing to provide a clean environment
- Failing to provide shelter
- Failing to help maintain personal hygiene
- Failing to provide medicine
- Failing to keep the environment safe.
What Are The Signs Of Neglect?
Like physical abuse, neglect can result in injuries. Signs of neglect include:
- Malnutrition and dehydration
- Depression and distress
- Unhygienic conditions
Does Elder Abuse Occur In Florida Nursing Homes?
Yes. According to the World Health Organization, researchers have found high levels of abuse in nursing homes. If you or a loved one have been abused or neglected in a nursing home, you should speak to a personal injury attorney.
Florida law protects the rights of people residing in nursing homes. Among these rights is the right to be free from mental and physical abuse. Under Florida law, it is illegal for nursing home staff to subject you to:
- Corporal punishment
- Solitary confinement (termed extended involuntary seclusion)
- Physical restraints
- Chemical restraints, such as drugs to keep you sedated
Generally, restraints are illegal unless authorized by your physician.
Further, Florida law protects the right to receive adequate and appropriate healthcare. You also have the right to get:
- Supportive services, such as mental health services
- Planned recreational activities if they are available
- Therapeutic and rehabilitative services
In addition, you have the right to fair and courteous treatment and to be informed of what kind of care and services your nursing home gives you. Thus, taken together, you have a right to be free from neglect and abuse.
Can You Sue Your Nursing Home For Elder Abuse In Florida?
Yes. Florida law gives a cause of action for people whose rights—including the right to be free from abuse—have been violated in a nursing home. With the help of an attorney, you can sue the nursing home, and you may receive monetary damages. If your loved one passed away because of nursing home abuse, you might bring a wrongful death action against the nursing home.
Can You Sue Your Family Member For Elder Abuse In Florida?
Often, elder abuse occurs outside of nursing homes when people cohabitate. If you are living with a family member who is abusing you, you may be able to sue your family member. An experienced personal injury attorney can evaluate your case.
Florida Elder Abuse Lawyer
Experiencing elder abuse—or witnessing a loved one being abused—can be an intensely stressful experience. Florida law protects the rights of older people to be free from abuse and neglect, whether residing in the community or in nursing facilities. The knowledgeable attorneys at The Watson Firm, PLLC understand elder abuse. Call The Watson Firm, PLLC at 850-607-2929 or reach out online to speak with an attorney.