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Nursing Home and Elder Abuse in Hollywood, Florida

Elder abuse refers to the neglect or willful mistreatment of an elderly person, often by a caregiver or family member. Elder abuse can include sexual abuse, sexual assault, physical assault or abuse, emotional or mental abuse, neglect, overmedication or under-medication, and indeed any situation where a senior person is not given the basics of life or is harmed in some way.

What are the risk factors for elder abuse in Hollywood and Florida?

Elder abuse can take place for many reasons: in some cases, people who are unsuited for caregiving take on caregiving tasks, either because an elderly family member needs care or because they are hired by a nursing home without proper background checks. In other cases, predators are accepted to work with seniors, despite their histories. In some cases, even caregivers with good intentions may end up abusing their charges. Often, this can occur because caregivers are overwhelmed, work in poor conditions, or aren't trained correctly to provide care.

Seniors who are most vulnerable are also most at risk for abuse. Seniors who have mental illnesses or are unable to care for themselves may not be able to speak up if abuse takes place. They may also be more likely to be targets for perpetrators. Seniors without family members or friends who stop by to check on them may also be more subject to abuse or may not have the support systems to stop abuse.

What are the signs of elder abuse?

Elder abuse in Hollywood and Florida can be hard to spot. In many cases, elderly victims are ashamed or afraid of their abusers and may avoid reporting abuse. In cases where a family member is the abuser, especially, the victims may not want to report a family member. In some cases, seniors are ill or have communication problems which prevent them from speaking out. In other cases, victims feel that no one will believe them.

For all of these reasons, it is especially important to keep an eye out for signs of abuse. Indications of elder abuse can include:

  • Unexplained bruises or injuries
  • Poor physical hygiene
  • Body odor
  • Poor grooming
  • Lice or other infestations
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Withdrawn behavior
  • Wary or anxious behavior
  • Personality changes
  • Sudden, unexplained loss of assets or change in finances
  • Sexually-transmitted infections or diseases
  • Mobility problems
  • Sudden, unexplained symptoms, such as slurred speech or difficulty moving
  • Inappropriate or poorly-chosen clothing for the weather

In many cases, the signs of abuse are very subtle. If you suspect a loved one has suffered abuse or if you notice any of these or any other symptoms, make sure to investigate thoroughly.

If a loved one has suffered elder or nursing home abuse in Hollywood or any South Florida community, you do have options. You can report the abuse to the Florida Department of Elder Affairs. You can also contact the police. In addition, you will want to contact a Hollywood elder abuse attorney who can advise you of your rights. If you have the option of filing a civil claim, you may be able to secure compensation to help your loved one get the care they deserve. Contact Flaxman Law Group for a free consultation to discuss your options with our team of attorneys to find out more.