Elder Abuse Increases During Covid-19 Pandemic

June 26, 2020 | Attorney, Matthew Dolman
Elder Abuse Increases During Covid-19 Pandemic

Covid-19 Leads to Nursing Home Neglect and Abuse 

The onslaught of Covid-19 upon the world has lead to a number of issues where institutions have buckled under the weight of quarantine restriction and the fallout of Covid-19 infection. It is no secret that the Covid-19 virus has disproportionately affected the elderly and not just in terms of infection susceptibility. The elderly have suffered difficulties with healthcare, access to facilities, and living in general. Possibly one of the most dangerously affected types of institutions during this pandemic has been elder care facilities like nursing homes. The elderly are especially vulnerable as a demographic and it is these facilities' duty to ensure that those under their care are kept safe. What is complicating this is the effect that the pandemic has had on the amount of elder abuse that is occurring across the country. 

Covid-19 Pandemic and Elder Abuse

Recently there have been reports that elders have been suffering more abuse than usual during the current Covid-19 pandemic. There have been increases in reports of elder abuse occurring during this troubling time. This would not be all that surprising considering how the vulnerability of the elderly is commonly exploited by predatory individuals. With the conditions of isolation created by the current pandemics quarantine, those that abuse and neglect the elderly such as those in nursing homes are in a unique position. 

Quarantine and Elder Abuse Risk

As a result of the quarantine policies most areas of the United States have put in place, nursing homes are even more isolated than usual. A source of controversy regarding this isolation comes from the ability for nursing homes to receive guests and visitors. The elderly are especially vulnerable to infection of the Covid-19 virus and in order to reduce the risk of this infection, many nursing homes have enacted much more strict policies regarding their visitors. Most Florida nursing homes stopped allowing visitors to come in altogether for a few months out of fear of contagion affecting residents. Lately, many nursing homes have started allowing a trickle of visitors to come in under strict conditions that require wearing a mask, gloves, temperature check, etc. to help reduce the risk of infection as much as possible.   While these steps are important to help prevent the spread of Covid-19 amongst the elderly residents of nursing homes, they also create an environment of opportunity for abusers. Nursing home abuse generally occurs in situations of reduced oversight and isolation. The lockdown that comes with the current quarantine gives many abusers the opportunity to not only abuse their victims but also to keep victims from seeking help. Relatives are an integral part of catching and reporting nursing home abuse and keeping them from loved ones in trouble can make matters even worse.  Those with loved ones in the care of Florida nursing homes should remember to keep an eye out for dangerous situations their loved ones may be in. Keep informed as to what the official visitation policies are of the nursing home your loved one is in. Some will allow visitation to some degree, granted you follow stringent safety precautions. If a loved one is barred from seeing you despite a nursing home's policy of allowing visitors with precautions this should send up a red flag.  

End-of-Life-Care and Covid-19 Quarantine

There are many that go into the care of facilities such as nursing homes knowing that they are nearing the end of their life. During this pandemic, many residents of nursing homes reached the end of their life as they either succumb to health conditions or simply reach the end of their lifespan. Many family members and loved ones will want to be with a nursing home resident in this situation to reach closure, provide comfort, etc. yet coronavirus has made this difficult for many. Those who have loved ones that are at the end of their life have the right to see them in their final days. People who have terminal illnesses or are nearing the end of their lives are still vulnerable to abuse and neglect and deserve peace. Most nursing homes have policies that should allow those with loved ones at the end of their life visitation privileges despite the pandemic situation. 

Types of Abuse Suffered in Florida Nursing Homes

Many abusers have taken this opportunity provided by quarantine to harm the residents that are supposed to be under their care. In many situations, abuse can come from staff because of frustrations over the current quarantine and the pressure it places on nursing homes. Regardless of why, nursing home abuse is extremely damaging and those whose negligence contributed towards it occurring should be held responsible. Nursing home abuse typically comes in the following forms:
  • Physical Abuse
  • Sexual Abuse
  • Emotional Abuse
  • Financial Abuse

Filing a Nursing Home Abuse Claim

When a loved one that is in the care of a nursing home is abuse, there is a chance that you can seek compensation from the party's that contributed negligence by filing a nursing home abuse claim. These claims can seek a settlement with those responsible for the nursing home abuse your loved one suffered that can cover damages such as medical bills, disability, mental anguish, as well as pain and suffering. 

Seek an Experienced Nursing Home Abuse Attorney

If you or a loved one has been the victim of nursing home abuse, contact a Clearwater nursing home abuse and neglect attorney right away. Despite the strict regulations Florida law places on nursing homes, abuse and neglect are all too common. Fortunately, those who have suffered such abuse are not without recourse. Florida law allows victims to recover compensation for injuries and other losses that they may experience as a result of nursing home abuse and neglect, and you should do everything in your power to hold nursing homes that allow their residents to suffer abuse accountable. The dedicated legal team at Dolman Law Group in Clearwater is here to help. Our experienced nursing home neglect lawyers have the skill, knowledge, and determination to aggressively advocate for your loved one's rights and rightful compensation, so please contact or call us at (727) 451-6900 for a free consultation today. Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA 800 North Belcher Road Clearwater, FL 33765 (727) 451-6900 https://www.dolmanlaw.com/nursing-home-abuse-lawyer/florida/


Matthew Dolman

Personal Injury Lawyer

This article was written and reviewed by Matthew Dolman. Matt has been a practicing civil trial, personal injury, products liability, and mass tort lawyer since 2004. He has successfully fought for more than 11,000 injured clients and acted as lead counsel in more than 1,000 lawsuits. Always on the cutting edge of personal injury law, Matt is actively engaged in complex legal matters, including Suboxone, AFFF, and Ozempic lawsuits.  Matt is a lifetime member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum for resolving individual cases in excess of $1 million and $2 million, respectively. He has also been selected by his colleagues as a Florida Superlawyer and as a member of Florida’s Legal Elite on multiple occasions. Further, Matt has been quoted in the media numerous times and is a sought-after speaker on a variety of legal issues and topics.

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