A 73-year-old Tampa woman reported missing by her family last Sunday was located with 24 hours more than two hours from home, ABC Action News reports. She apparently became lost en route to visit her brother at a nearby nursing home after dropping her daughter off at church.
She was found in her car just before dawn on Monday after witnesses reported a vehicle with a dead battery in the intersection of Micco Road and U.S. Hwy. 1. Police say she appeared disoriented, and her family confirms the woman has recently been demonstrating signs of possible dementia.
Our South Florida nursing home attorneys know that few times in life can be more challenging than when faced with watching a loved one begin to decline. Seeing a parent, sibling, loved one or friend transition from partner and peer to patient is not something you should do alone. Turning to professionals, or even trusted online resources, can help families find what they need to make quality assisted-living care decisions and even recognize signs of dementia or spot nursing home and elder care abuse.
The Florida Department of Elder Affairs reports that about two-thirds of elder abuse cases in Florida involved abuse, neglect or exploitation. Elder abuse can manifest in many ways including self-neglect. Abuse by caregivers, on the other hand, can be physical, emotional, financial and sexual.
Physical signs of abuse can include cuts, bruising, welts, bed sores, burns, soiled clothing, unsanitary environment, sunken eyes or cheeks, starvation, dehydration, poor hygiene. Behavioral signs of abuse can include listlessness, unresponsiveness, fear, anxiety, anger, withdrawal, confusion, reluctance to talk openly, depression.
It is also critical for caregivers to network with others who have found themselves thrust in the position of health-care and quality-of-life manager for a loved one. Not just for the social support, according to the Area Agency on Aging, but to help caregivers develop the tools and resources they need to make informed decisions and plan best-care options for those who can no longer look after themselves.
Our South Florida nursing home lawyers at Freeman & Mallard know that many Florida nursing homes are understaffed and ultimately it is the residents who pay the price. We have been successfully and aggressively representing abuse and neglect victims and their families in Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, and Ft. Pierce /Port St. Lucie for years. Call us today to schedule a no-obligation appointment to discuss your case at 1-800-529-2368.