Nursing Home Negligence

When you place your loved one in a nursing home or assisted living facility, you are entrusting the facility with the care of a vulnerable person. Sadly, because of their vulnerability, individuals in these facilities often fall victim to abuse and neglect.

Florida has robust administrative rules in place to protect individuals in the care of nursing homes and assisted living facilities. At Trelles & Bichler, we understand the finer points of these regulations and use them to our client’s full advantage. We offer compassionate care to the family while pursuing the victim’s highest recovery.

If you believe your loved one may have been a victim of nursing home abuse or elder neglect, call 561-299-4878 (HURT) for a free consultation with a Palm Beach County nursing home abuse attorney.

Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Takes Many Forms

Unfortunately, many elderly and disabled patients in nursing homes and assisted living facilities are unable to tell someone if they are being neglected or abused. Other patients may be too fearful of retribution to speak up about abuse or neglect. Unfortunately, many families do not realize their loved ones are suffering abuse until there is a serious injury or even death.

Abuse in nursing homes and other facilities can take many forms. Commonly, these cases involve one or more of the following:

Physical Abuse

Physical abuse is one of the most common types of abuse in nursing homes. It may include slapping, hitting, aggressive pulling, or any other form of physical contact that is unwanted or causes injury. Injuries may include broken bones, fractures, lacerations, traumatic brain injury, back injuries, and other severe injuries.

Mental and Emotional Abuse

Mental and emotional abuse is also widespread in nursing homes. It may consist of verbal abuse with staff shouting or cursing at patients, uttering threats, or making fun of patients. Non-verbal abuse, such as ignoring patients, can also cause pain and distress.

Sexual Abuse

It may be difficult to accept, but patients in nursing homes can also be the victims of sexual abuse. Sexual abuse is any unwanted touching or sexual contact with a patient

Financial Abuse

Financial abuse is another common form of nursing home abuse. Unfortunately, stolen money and property is not the only form of financial abuse. Some individuals trick or force patients to sign legal and financial documents giving another person access to or ownership of assets.


Neglect is any failure or refusal to care for a patient or provide food, water, or other basic necessities.

Because elder abuse and nursing home abuse can be subtle, it is important to diligently look for signs of abuse or neglect when visiting loved ones in a long-term care facility. If a patient is in immediate danger, report the abuse to local law enforcement officers. You can also report nursing home abuse in Florida to the Agency for Health Care Administration and the Adult Protective Services division of the Florida Department of Children and Families.

Common Signs and Symptoms of Nursing Home Abuse and Elder Neglect

Some signs of elder abuse and neglect may be subtle. For example, a nursing home patient may withdraw or begin having nightmares. Some patients may start losing weight for no apparent reason or lose their appetite. However, these signs could also be symptoms of one or more medical or mental health conditions. Therefore, it may be difficult to determine if a loved one is being abused.

If you suspect abuse, but you are not sure, you may want to consult your loved one’s family doctor. If the only doctor treating your loved one is a doctor for the nursing home, you may want to take your loved one to an independent doctor for a medical examination and evaluation.

Signs that could indicate nursing home abuse include:

  • You sustained severe or traumatic injuries, including traumatic brain injury (TBI), spinal cord injuries, paralysis, or severe burns.
  • You incurred substantial financial damages because of the accident and injury.
  • Your injuries resulted in permanent impairments or disabilities.
  • Liability for the accident or injury is disputed.
  • Multiple parties may be liable for your injuries and losses.
  • The other party is alleging you are partially to blame for your injury or accident.
  • Your injury involves medical malpractice or wrongful death.
  • The insurance company denies your claim or is delaying settlement.
  • You are unsure what your injury or accident claim is worth.
  • Your traffic accident involves a commercial vehicle, government employee, or government vehicle.
  • Bruises and lacerations
  • Bed sores
  • Broken bones and fractures
  • Changes in appetite or weight loss
  • Missing personal items or money
  • Sexually transmitted diseases, infections, or bruising near the genitals or breasts
  • Poor personal hygiene
  • Dirty clothes and bed linens
  • Fear and anxiety, especially fear of being left at the nursing home or being left alone with a staff member
  • A strong smell of urine or other foul odors in the facility
  • Poor facility maintenance or cleaning
  • Infections or illnesses with no clear cause
  • Excessive medications that cause drowsiness or overuse of antipsychotic medications

Any unusual behavior or medical conditions could indicate abuse or neglect. Do not hesitate to act if you suspect nursing home abuse or elder neglect.

Act Now to Hold Parties Liable for Nursing Home Abuse

If your loved one has been abused or neglected in a nursing home or assisted living facility, he or she may be entitled to compensation for injuries, pain, suffering, and other damages. If your loved one died in a nursing home because of abuse or neglect, you might have a claim for wrongful death.

The attorneys of Trelles & Bichler help families and individuals hold parties responsible for abuse and neglect in nursing homes. Let our Palm Beach nursing home abuse attorneys help you and your loved one fight to end nursing home abuse.

Call Trelles & Bichler at 561-299-4878 (HURT) to schedule a free consultation with an experienced Palm Beach County nursing home abuse attorney.

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