A nursing home case attorney in St Petersburg says there are more than a million elderly residents in nursing homes. As the American population ages, this number will increase constantly. Nursing home residents are a uniquely vulnerable group dependent on others for their needs. They deserve a level of care that preserves their dignity and well-being.
Unfortunately, adds the nursing home case attorney in St Petersburg, the problem of elder abuse plagues many of them. It’s impossible to say exactly how common the problem is because it is so underreported. By one estimate, only one in 14 incidents of elder abuse and one in 25 of financial exploitation come to the attention of authorities.
The National Research Council estimates that between one and two million Americans age 65 or older have been injured, exploited, or otherwise mistreated by someone on whom they have depended for care or protection. A 2001 government study found 31 percent of nursing homes cited for abuse violations. Thirty percent of those cited were for violations that caused actual harm to residents or placed them in immediate danger of serious injury or death.
Reasons for Nursing Home Abuse
The most common reason for nursing home abuse is insufficient staffing. More than 90 percent of all nursing homes are for-profit businesses. Minimizing employee salaries is a way for businesses to boost bottom lines, but when nursing homes boost theirs in this way they deprive residents of basic human rights.
Fewer than half of nursing homes have adequate staffing because, in the opinion of the nursing home case attorney in St Petersburg, they pay employees outrageously low wages, sometimes less than those of fast-food workers. Many nursing homes rely on untrained, uneducated personnel for jobs that nurses or nursing assistants should do.
Types of Abuse
Elder abuse in nursing homes can take many forms:
- Physical abuse as pain or injury from willfully inflicted beatings, sexual assaults, unreasonable restraints, and deprivation of food or water.
- Psychological and emotional abuse from willful infliction of mental suffering by verbal assaults, threats, humiliation, and intimidation.
- Neglect to provide reasonable care assisting in personal hygiene, medical attention, and protection from health and safety hazards.
Nobody should assume that nursing home residents will report and complain about mistreatment. Many are reluctant for various reasons to blow their whistles. Always be alert for signs of nursing home abuse or neglect.
Contact Nursing Home Case Attorneys in St Petersburg
Giroux & Associates Inc limits legal practice to cases against nursing homes and hospitals that neglect or abuse their residents. Florida law requires claims against nursing home and hospital within a specific period of time after the injury from abuse or neglect occurs, a time limit under the state statute of limitations. For this reason, it is important to contact a skilled, experienced, specialized nursing home case attorney in St Petersburg for a free consultation and case evaluation as quickly as possible after the discovery of the injury. Call Giroux & Associates Inc at (727) 895-5399.