How to Protect Your Loved Ones From Nursing Home Abuse And Neglect
Tampa attorney Armando Edmiston explains what to do and how to file a claim
Nobody imagines their loved one will be a victim of nursing home abuse and neglect. Unfortunately, abuse and neglect often occur in nursing homes. Worst of all, you might not even be able to visit your loved one in a nursing home, due to COVID-19 restrictions in place at many nursing homes. This has left many families wondering what they can do to protect their loved ones from elder abuse.
Our trusted Tampa nursing home abuse attorneys at Armando Personal Injury Law can help your family every step of the way. We understand how the legal system works in Florida. We’re familiar with the state and federal laws governing nursing home neglect and abuse. We can fight the justice your family deserves if you’re faced with nursing home abuse or neglect.
4 Ways to protect your loved ones when in-person visits aren’t allowed
One of the most effective strategies for preventing elderly abuse is making regular in-person visits, but that’s not always a possibility. Sometimes, such as during the Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, families are not permitted to visit nursing homes, assisted living facilities and other long-term care facilities.
There are still measures you can take, even during social distancing, to ensure your family members’ safety. It starts with knowing your rights—and being proactive about exercising them if you think your loved one is a victim of nursing home abuse or neglect.
Not physically able to visit a loved one who lives in a nursing home? Use these simple strategies to protect your family member from elder abuse, or to secure documentation if you suspect that abuse is already occurring.
- Set up a weekly call with your family member’s registered nurse.
Ask questions about your loved one’s habits, health and well-being. If you have concerns, also ask to speak with your family member’s physician, or even the center’s director.
- Obtain copies of your family member’s weekly nursing notes.
Review the notes for “red flags” that could warrant further action and discuss those with the registered nurse on your weekly call. Common “red flags” include:
- Failure to eat or drink
- Falls and/or bruising
- Skin care issues, such as lesions or pressure sores
- Weight loss
- Urinary tract infections, which can aggravate dementia
- Medication errors
- Aspiration pneumonia
- A change in mental status, which the nurse should assess through daily awareness questions
- Record a daily video call with your loved one.
Take note of your family member’s physical appearance. Then, ask them questions to gauge their well-being:
- How are you feeling?
- How are they treating you?
- Have you been using the bathroom?
- When was the last time you had a bath?
- Take action if the nursing home isn’t being responsive.
If the nursing home isn’t returning your calls, consider going there. Although you don’t have the legal right to physically step inside the facility, you can talk through a door to get the answers you need. If the facility still isn’t being responsive, consider contacting the police or simply contact Armando Personal Injury Law. We can send a letter on your behalf within 48 hours.
Your quick legal checklist for your loved one
No matter the situation or stage of health, it’s critical to ensure your elderly loved ones have essential legal documents in place. During the COVID-19 pandemic, these documents can be drafted virtually via video call. These essential documents include:
- Does your loved one have a living will?
- Does your loved one have directives?
- Do you have a Power of Attorney (POA)?
If your loved one does not have any one of these documents, we strongly advise you to create these documents for them as soon as possible. This is especially true when it comes to creating a document which grants power of attorney (POA) for you loved one if they cannot make important medical decisions on their own.
How to secure power of attorney virtually
Without a Power of Attorney (POA) in place, an elderly care facility won’t talk with you about your loved one’s health. Although POAs are typically executed in person, they can also be completed via a video call.
To secure a POA virtually, you will need a lawyer and a notary. If you need to secure a POA for your loved one during COVID-19 or any other time, contact our Tampa law firm. We can help you secure a POA quickly and virtually.
Choosing the right nursing home abuse lawyer
Elderly abuse cases are rarely straightforward. The nursing home will often deny that abuse or neglect even occurred. Instead, nursing homes often blame the doctor treating your loved one. Most nursing home doctors are independent contractors. That is when these cases often turn into different parties blaming the other for what happened to your loved one.
Never forget that nursing homes are businesses. They’re focused on the bottom line. So, they will often fight your nursing home abuse or neglect claims with every available resource – attorneys, investigators and more.
You can level the playing field. You need a nursing home abuse lawyer ready to fight for you and your loved one. You need someone who knows how the system works and what needs to be done to build the strongest, possible legal case. You need Armando Personal Injury Law.
Turn to the law firm Tampa families trust. Your loved one deserves the best.
Tampa families trust Armando Personal Injury Law with their nursing home abuse cases. We’re an award-winning Tampa law firm that will fight for your family. Reach out to Armando Personal Injury Law today. We can answer your questions, evaluate your case and explain your options.
At Armando Personal Injury Law, we have more than 40 years of combined legal experience. From the moment you reach out to us, we put our experience to work for your family. We take cases all the way through trial and the people you meet on day one will be the same people who will fight for your loved one in court.
Elderly loved ones might not be able to tell us that they’re being abused. That’s why being proactive is so important—especially during COVID-19. Use the steps in this guide to protect your loved ones in nursing homes. If you suspect abuse, contact Armando Personal Injury Law and schedule a free case evaluation. We’re passionate about helping your family and consider you a member of ours.
Whether you need to obtain a virtual POA or need legal representation for elderly abuse, you need a friend who can advise you on the best path forward. You need an experienced Tampa nursing home abuse lawyer on your side. Trust the firm that fights for Tampa families. Count on Armando Personal Injury Law when it matters most.