Florida Nursing Home Abuse

According to a new report, life expectancy rates continue to climb. You can expect to live almost eight years longer in the U.S. than you would have in 1970. Because you might live longer, it doesn’t necessarily mean you will have a high quality of life, especially when health issues come into play. An assistant-living facility may be required. And oftentimes it’s up to the adult children to help their parent or parents choose an assistant-living facility. Florida has an abundance of nursing homes, primarily because we have so many retirees. So why do so many retirees choose to live here? Well, we’re the Sunshine State – who wouldn’t want to spend their last years in the beautiful, tropical paradise that is Florida. There’s something to be said about warm weather, sandy beaches and palm trees – doctors have even been known to prescribe “a warmer climate such as Florida” to elderly citizens, especially those with certain health issues and those wary of slipping and falling during icy conditions.

Sending a loved one to a nursing home is a tough decision. When we aren’t able to take care of our aging parents, we seek the help of a facility with professionals who can care for our loved ones in every capacity. When we send our loved ones to a nursing home, we expect them to be given the utmost care. As stated earlier, finding a nursing home in Florida isn’t hard to do, but finding a good nursing home may prove more challenging. The best thing you can do for yourself or your loved one is to research the facility you’re considering. The Florida Agency for Health Care Administration has put together a step-by-step guide with detailed instructions on how to research specific facilities in our state. This is a great way to begin the research process. Once you’ve narrowed it down, a visit is always in order. During your visit, be consciously aware of the surroundings and ask lots of questions, such as:

  1. How does the staff interact with one another? Do they appear cordial? Employees should be happy, those in the business of caring for others should love their jobs, plain and simple.
  2. What sounds do you hear? Is there laughter? Is it eerily quiet? Is it too noisy and distracting?
  3. What does it smell like? Does the facility smell fresh and clean?
  4. Is the staff overworked? (Back to Question #1, a happy staff means happy residents!)
  5. How do the residents spend their afternoons? Are there plenty of activities for them to do? Or do they appear bored?
  6. Do you see bruising? This could be an indication of neglect or abuse.
  7. How does the home handle a fall? Are loved ones notified immediately?
  8. Are there unexpected bedsores? Again, this could be a sign of neglect or abuse.
  9. How does the food look and taste? Is it appealing? Would you enjoy eating it every day? Are there plenty of healthy options? Are there options that might be specific for your loved one (gluten-free, organic, vegetarian, etc.)
  10. Are personal care needs being met? Do residents’ appearances indicate they’ve groomed?

Answering these questions will assist you in picking out a great facility for your loved one. But what if you suspect nursing home abuse? Trust your intuition. If something doesn’t seem right, ask lots of questions. And if you do feel your loved one has been abused, immediately take them out of the facility, get medical help, if needed, and contact an attorney. At Friedman, Rodman & Frank, we help families navigate the legal process, while protecting their rights with compassion and sympathy. Our attorneys have the extensive knowledge, experience, and skill you need to examine your legal options and seek fair compensation. To learn more, contact us online or call 305-448-8585 or 877-448-8585.

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