Elder Abuse Myths: Get the Facts
For many elderly residents of Florida, the risks of nursing home abuse and neglect are ever-present. Elder neglect can occur in nursing homes and assisted-living facilities in the state, but it can also happen when a senior remains at home with the help of a home health aide. In many instances, elder abuse and neglect results from a caregiver’s inactions—the failure to take proper care of an elderly patient. In other instance, seniors sustain serious and sometimes fatal injuries as a result of intentional physical, emotional, and sexual abuse.
If you have an elderly loved one who currently resides in a nursing home or assisted-living facility in Florida, it is extremely important to have the facts when it comes to elder abuse and neglect. A recent article in Forbes addresses common myths about elder abuse, and we would like to discuss those with you today.
Myth 1: All Elder Neglect Occurs in Nursing Homes (and Nowhere Else)
As we mentioned above, elder abuse is often used interchangeably with the term nursing home abuse, but that does not mean that abuse and neglect occurs only in nursing homes. First, there are different types of facilities for the elderly, and they have very different ranges in terms of the types of services they provide. Elder abuse or neglect can happen at any of these facilities, including nursing homes but also including assisted living facilities.
In addition, many instances of abuse or neglect occur within a senior’s own home, and the perpetrators often are family members. As such, it is important for anyone with an elderly loved one to pay close attention for signs of elder neglect regardless of where your loved one resides.
Myth 2: Physical Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect is Obvious
Many cases of nursing home abuse and neglect go unreported—and often get worse—because nobody notices anything, and the senior who is being victimized either cannot report the abuse or is too scared to report the abuse. Often, signs and symptoms of abuse and neglect exist underneath an elderly person’s clothes (such as bruises or bedsores).
Nursing home neglect often has certain telltale signs, but you may only notice them if you are looking for them. Be sure to familiarize yourself with the different types of nursing home abuse and neglect, as well as the common signs and symptoms.
Myth 3: When a Senior Says She (or He) Was Not Abused, Then Abuse Never Happened
As we mentioned previously, many seniors in nursing homes are scared to tell someone that they have been injured as a result of nursing home abuse or neglect. And in some instances, particularly among patients with dementia, the patient may not understand that she has been the victim of elder abuse. Given these facts, it is important for family members and close friends to remain vigilant and to report any concerns.
Discuss Your Case with a Nursing Home Neglect Lawyer in West Palm Beach
According to an article in the Palm Beach Post, there are approximately 3.3 million Floridians who are aged 65 and older, which makes Florida the state with the second-highest population of seniors. As such, it is extremely important to be aware of myths and facts surrounding nursing home abuse and neglect, and to take action if you suspect an elderly loved one has been the victim of abuse. An experienced West Palm Beach nursing home neglect attorney can assist with your case. Contact Lesser Lesser Landy & Smith PLLC to learn more about how we can help.