Thousands of Florida families trust one of many assisted-living facilities with their most precious resource: relatives. The Sunshine State is home to the highest proportion of elderly citizens, many of whom need help handling their care and other affairs.
The cities and towns of Florida maintain many health workers to serve residents at nursing homes and other assisted-living facilities. Consummate professionals deliver quality care, but the stress and frustrations of the job can lead people to excessive force, negligence and other forms of elder abuse.
A 30-year-old certified nursing assistant (CNA) working at an assisted-living facility in Quincy was recently arrested on suspicion of acts of elder abuse. The sheriff's office in Gadsden County is investigating a complaint stating the woman physically assaulted a patient who had become combative.
The Florida Department of Adult Protective Services (DAPS) claimed that the caregiver grabbed the victim's wrists and struck her on the shoulder, which tore the victim's skin and caused severe bruising. During her arrest, the nursing assistant admitted responsibility for the wrist injuries but nothing else.
The caregiver was charged with felony abuse of an elderly or disabled person, which could carry a fine and jail time. Her nursing assistant certification may also be at risk if the charges are upheld at trial.
Victims of elder abuse in nursing homes, during home care or even at the hands of a friend or family member may have a case for financial damages. An attorney may help victims and their trusted community members assemble a case for Florida civil court or for settlement with the parties at fault.
Source: WTXL, "Nursing assistant arrested for abusing elderly patient," April 22, 2018