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Aventura Nursing Home Abuse Blog

Debunking elder abuse myths to improve your awareness

Protecting elder loved ones has become a common goal among Florida residents. These family members are often quite vulnerable due to age itself, illness or injury. Finding a safe place for elders to live and thrive is important for families who cannot open their own homes to aging relatives. While nursing home abuse and neglect are concerns, it is crucial to make sure you do not fall victim to some of the common myths that surround elder abuse.

-- Physical nursing home abuse is easy to spot: Unfortunately, this is not always the case. In fact, sometimes the abuse can be hidden so well you might not see it with your eyes. For example, some amount of bruising is relatively normal in the elderly and might not seem to be a concern. Some painful and injurious forms of nursing home abuse may leave no marks at all, according to one gerontology professor.

Other care options can keep elders safe from nursing home neglect

Ensuring that our elders are properly cared for and protected is a goal many Florida residents share. There are times when placing an elder in a nursing home is the best choice, but we want to make sure you understand that it might not be your only choice.

All across the country, alternatives to nursing home care exist in most communities. Florida, which is home to many senior citizens, is no exception, offering a wide array of care options for families to consider. If you have concerns about quality of care and the risk of nursing home neglect or abuse, then exploring these alternatives is a great idea.

Is your loved one overly medicated or chemically restrained?

Two dangers that your senior relative faces as a nursing home resident in Florida are overmedication and chemical restraints. With allegations of improper medication administration and use of chemical restraints on the rise, it is important for you to know how a senior care facility is treating your loved one. Your relative may suffer from dementia, bipolar disorder, or some other mental or physical ailment that may make them more aggressive at times than normal. They may also suffer from anxiety. Regardless of their medical and mental conditions, you should keep a watchful eye on the type and frequency of medication your loved one's caregivers give them. 

Your relative may suffer from dementia, bipolar disorder, or some other mental or physical ailment that may make them more aggressive at times than normal. They may also suffer from anxiety. Regardless of their medical and mental conditions, you should keep a watchful eye on the type and frequency of medication your loved one's caregivers give them. 

Your vigilance can help prevent nursing home abuse

Recently, we discussed the warning signs of nursing home neglect in our blog. This time, we thought it would be a good idea to talk about some things you can do to help keep your loved one safe from nursing home abuse and neglect.

For many of us, nursing home abuse or neglect is difficult to imagine. Some of the questions that come to mind about this difficult topic include: Who could do such a thing to someone so vulnerable? How can this abuse go unnoticed inside a facility? Often, we cannot find answers to these questions and it is becoming a concern for many Florida residents with aging family members.

What are some warning signs of nursing home neglect?

When you ask questions like these, it shows that you are concerned about any elder loved ones who may reside in a nursing facility. Unfortunately, you already know that nursing home neglect and abuse can happen; being able to identify neglect is important in keeping your loved one safe and in assigning blame.

Many Florida residents think it will be easy to spot nursing home neglect, but that is not always the case. Sometimes, it looks like a simple illness. Other times, neglect may manifest slowly, making the signs difficult to identify. Knowing your loved one and his or her current condition at all times can help you identify and remedy any signs of nursing home neglect that do begin to manifest.

Nursing home residents are subjected to social media abuse

When you think of nursing home abuse, you likely think about classic cases: physical abuse, mental abuse, sexual abuse and financial abuse. However, did you know that you may also want to watch out for social media abuse?

In the past, federal health regulators have found that some nursing home employees have photographed residents in a demeaning manner, while others have taken videos. They've then uploaded these embarrassing and/or inappropriate accounts to their social media profiles to share with the world.

Symptoms of bedsores to watch for

Bedsores are a big risk for elderly patients confined to a bed. These sores are also called decubitus ulcers or pressure sores. The skin tissue is damaged because patients cannot move around to get blood circulating through the area. Bedsores are common on the hip, spine, elbows and heels, anywhere that skin presses against the bed for long periods of time. Some patients who use a wheelchair can get bedsores on their feet or buttocks. 

Bedsores do not start with an open wound. According to Harvard Health Publications, the pressure that causes bedsores does not even have to be very intense, it just has to cut off the blood supply to the skin. Recognizing the first signs of a bedsore can prevent further damage to the skin. If you have a loved one in a nursing home, you should check for red patches of skin that do not turn white when a finger is pressed on the area. The area of skin might be painful, or just itchy and tender. For patients with dark skin, the area might appear to be a different color than the surrounding skin. 

GPS tracking and the elderly

The loss of freedom can be hard for the elderly to handle, having spent decades making their own decisions and caring for others. However, especially when dealing with Alzheimer's and other such disorders, loved ones and caregivers have to find ways to keep them safe.

For instance, one of the biggest issues with Alzheimer's is wandering or becoming lost. An elderly person may get confused and not be able to find his or her way home, which can be terrifying for those who are searching.

Elderly rights in a nursing home

The staff may run the nursing home and enforce various rules, but that does not mean that the elderly do not have inherent rights that must be respected at all times.

For example, as noted on the U.S. government's official Medicare website, the elderly are never to be discriminated against. Many of the protected classes are the same as they would be for employment discrimination, including things like gender, race, disability and religion. Those living in a nursing home must always be treated fairly and equally.

Legal team alleges that suffocating woman was being abused

A woman in a nursing home was only able to breathe well with the help of a breathing tube and a vent system. However, that tube became disconnected, and the entire event was caught on tape. Now, her family and legal team say that the staff was abusing her and letting her suffocate..

In the video, a certified nursing assistant was working in the room, apparently touching the tube to move it or adjust it. That's when the video makes it appear that the tube actually becomes disconnected. Alarms go off and the woman audibly struggles to breathe.

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