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Disabled Resident Sexually Abused at Florida Nursing Home

Families face difficult decisions when it comes time to place a loved one into a nursing facility. Besides the obvious emotional issues, there are many practical concerns including costs, location, quality of care and living conditions. But one thing families should never have to worry about is the possibility of their loved one falling victim to criminal abuse while in the facility’s care.

But unfortunately, that can be a concern. In a recent case involving a nursing home in Jacksonville, Florida, a male nurse’s assistant at a local nursing home was arrested and charged with two counts of sexual battery. The victim, an elderly woman, is both mentally impaired and physically helpless. A second nurse, who overheard noises coming from the room, entered to find the man engaged in sexual activity with the resident. The nurse tried to use her cell phone to call for help, but met resistance from the man who attempted to stop her. The nurse was eventually able to contact the local police, who subsequently arrested the man.

Although the man had no prior criminal record, records indicate eight allegations of abuse over the past year at the nursing home. Four of the incidents led to findings of inadequate supervision of the patients who were victims of the abuses. In the wake of this incident, the Department of Children and Families along with the Jacksonville Sherriff’s Department have begun a more thorough investigation. “Obviously there are a number of vulnerable adults there… I’m sure there are a lot of families feeling a lot of concern right now,” said a spokesperson for the Department of Children and Families.

Criminal abuse of nursing care patients occurs all-too often, but the neglect of patients is a much more common form of abuse. Facilities can search the criminal records of potential and current employees, but it is far more difficult to determine the quality of care those employees will provide. And tragically, many victims of elder abuse or neglect are disabled and cannot communicate incidents of neglect or even outright abuse to loved ones or authorities. That makes it all the more important, when visiting loved ones in nursing homes, to pay close attention for signs of neglect or abuse.

Signs of nursing home neglect or abuse include poor hygiene of residents, residents wearing unclean clothing, inappropriate dress for conditions, conditions that could be hazardous to the elderly, bed sores, wounds and sudden weight loss or dehydration. The appearance of depression and complaints of being restrained for extended periods of time also may indicate nursing home malpractice.

The decision to place a loved one in a nursing facility is difficult enough without having to worry about the quality of care received. Our attorneys have successfully defended the rights of thousands of elder-care abuse victims and their families. If you, or someone you know, have been a victim of elder-care abuse, please contact us at ElderCareNeglect.com for a free consultation. Our attorneys are available to assist in all aspects of your litigation.

 
     
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Gavin P. Lentz, Esq.
Bochetto & Lentz

Gavin Lentz (right) was selected as a "Super Lawyer" for 2006-2009 in New Jersey by Philadelphia Magazine. He has also been selected as a "Super Lawyer" by Philadelphia Magazine and the Legal Intelligencer in 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007.

On September 16, 2002 Mr. Lentz was selected as one of the top 50 lawyers in Pennsylvania by the Legal Intelligencer.

He has made many television appearances, including on Fox News, The Today Show, Inside Edition, and The Phil Donahue Show.

Mr. Lentz is a member of the American Trial Lawyers Association and the Million Dollar Advocates Forum.

As a former prosecutor, he knows how to aggressively go after a nursing home to prove the facts necessary to protect your loved one's rights.

 
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