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Preventing and recovering from nursing home abuse

Moving a beloved relative to a nursing home or assisted living facility is often a difficult decision. No one wants to admit that they need help taking care of themselves, especially after a long and successful life looking after their own needs and the needs of their families.

One issue that should not be a concern is abuse by the clinical and support staff of a nursing home, although this is an occasional problem. One of the difficulties with this sort of abuse is the isolation of nursing home life, so relatives and visitors must remain vigilant.

Nursing home residents (or their survivors) who have experienced improper care may recover financial damages from the individuals and organizations responsible even if they do not have a contract with the home. The victim of injuries and illnesses in these situations may also have a case for assault and battery.

Any nursing home that accepts Medicare funding is liable under federal law to prevent verbal, sexual, physical, mental and financial abuse among its staff and residents. Any restraints or limits on activity must be authorized by a doctor and occur only when the safety of the resident or others is at risk.

Florida and all other states have a system for reporting allegations of abuse, neglect and exploitation of their elder citizens. Investigating the allegations is also required for law enforcement agencies.

An attorney may help victims of elder abuse and their families to find the right path towards restitution and prevent further abuse in the future.

Source: FindLaw, "Nursing Home Abuse FAQs," accessed Nov. 29, 2017

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