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North Miami Beach Nursing Home Abuse Blog

Your loved one deserves appropriate care: Fight against abuse

Elderly individuals are among those most vulnerable to abuse. There are a few reasons for this, including that they may be isolated from being able to report the abuse, they may fear reporting the abuse due to the potential for retaliation, and they may not be strong enough to fight back.

There is never a time when harming a nursing home patient is acceptable. As the loved one of someone in a nursing home, it is often up to you to make sure you're checking in on your loved one and looking for signs of abuse or neglect.

Elderly care workers must be patient

Taking care of the elderly is not an easy task. It is demanding, both physically and emotionally. It's not something that anyone should take lightly.

In fact, many experts note that it can be stressful and frustrating. Stress, in particular, can often lead to outbursts and actions that are outside of someone's normal nature. A person who is typically quiet and kind, for instance, could become aggressive and angry when they get stressed out.

How broken bones happen in understaffed nursing homes

For some older adults, medical issues resulting from a fall are exactly why they end up in a nursing home. A broken hip or a few broken ribs can be enough to keep someone from adequately caring for themselves. If their family members do not live nearby or are unable to provide the degree of care an injured older adult requires, a nursing home often becomes the only viable solution for safety.

Unfortunately, residents in nursing homes don't always receive the care that they pay so much money to get. If your loved one has recently had a broken bone while living as a resident in a nursing home or assisted living facility, that injury could be a red flag for inadequate care or neglect.

Nursing home abuse flag can help identify dangerous facilities

Nursing home abuse is a horrible situation for anyone to go through. The elderly are among the most vulnerable, and that means that they're more likely to go through neglect or abuse that is not reported.

It is important for you to know if your loved one's nursing home has a history of issues with abuse. That's why a new online icon is helping flag nursing homes for abuse, exploitation and negligence. A Nov. 1 report out of Florida states that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is doing its best to help people find the right nursing home for their loved ones and to make the process more transparent.

Understanding the early stages of a pressure sore

Pressure sores, which are often known as bedsores, are one potential sign of elder neglect. They happen when an elderly person who cannot move well on their own is left lying in the exact same position for too long. The pressure points against even a soft mattress can lead to serious physical distress. In the worst cases, these sores become extensive, get infected and could even have fatal complications.

How do you know what to look for long before it gets to that point? There are a few things you need to know to spot pressure sores in the earliest stages. These symptoms include:

  • A general sense of light pain at a specific point
  • A burning or itching sensation
  • A patch of skin that feels different from the skin around it
  • Skin that becomes either too firm or too soft
  • Skin that is warmer or cooler to the touch

My loved on has bedsores. What can I do?

One of the side effects of remaining sedentary sitting in a chair or lying in a bed for too long is that patients tend to develop bedsores. Medically, these pressure sores are known as decubitus ulcers. But no matter what you call them, they spell real trouble for elderly patients.

The areas where bedsores develop are usually where the skin is thinnest and bony areas are prominent. Ankles, heels, hips, shoulders, spine and the tailbone are all sites of frequent bedsores.

Frequent falls may be a sign of caregiver neglect

When you placed your elderly parent in an assisted living facility, your decision was made out of love. You no longer believed that your loved one was safe living alone, so you found a place where they would be cared for and safe from harm.

That was the plan, at least. So you were utterly shocked to learn that your mother fell and broke her hip after only a few weeks into her stay at the facility. What went wrong?

The elderly population keeps growing in Florida

The odds of elder abuse in Florida keep going up, if only for the reason that the elderly population is growing. Florida is a very popular destination for the elderly, and many of them need -- or will need -- care and assistance of one sort or another. These dependent relationships make them vulnerable to abuse.

Reports out of Florida indicate that about 23% of the people in the state are 60 years old or older. That's out of a total of around 20 million in overall population, so you're looking at roughly 4.6 million elderly individuals.

Neglect is unacceptable, but there is help available

You were surprised when your mom called you from the assisted living facility. You live far enough away that you don't visit often, but she normally waited for you to call. You had a regular schedule of calls that you placed to make sure she heard from you and that you could check in with her.

This time, something was different. She seemed a little nervous on the phone, and she said she needed you to come to the facility. In the background, you heard a crash. Not knowing what was happening, you said you'd be on your way and hurried over.

Standing against elder abuse is about justice

When people talk about elder abuse, they often talk about it with a tone toward sympathy. They feel bad for those being abused and want to make it right.

It's not that this is the wrong approach, necessarily, but experts suggest that it goes further than that. It's not just about feeling bad about what someone else had to endure. It's about seeking justice. It's about seeking fair treatment for all.

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