High Rate of Abuse and Neglect in Nursing Homes
As experienced Daytona Beach nursing home abuse attorneys, we are not surprised by a new federal report that highlights the problem. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, about 20% of those seniors receiving Medicare who are taken to the emergency room were possibly abused or neglected. Since most seniors are on Medicare, this roughly translates into 1 in 5 emergency room visits are probably caused by abuse or neglect.
Alarmingly, many nursing homes are also not reporting the incidents as is required by federal law. As a result, many of these facilities escape scrutiny even though their residents are suffering serious injuries or illnesses that are entirely preventable.
Nursing Home Care in Florida Declines
As reported by TCPalm.com, Florida has earned a “B” grade from a citizen advocacy group, Families for Better Care Inc. This actually represents a decline from the previous report card from this group, which had awarded Florida an “A” grade. As a result of the decline, Florida has now fallen from sixth place in the country to 13th, a sizeable decline.
There were several reasons for the lower grade:
- Practically every nursing home in the state was cited for a deficiency.
- Fewer nursing homes were rated above average after inspections.
- About 20% of the nursing homes were rated as “dangerous” or were on the watch list for becoming dangerous.
These numbers should give Florida residents cause for concern. Loved ones who are placed in a nursing home are typically totally at the mercy of staff and rely on them for food, medicine, hygiene, and emotional support. Neglect and abuse can take a serious toll on your loved one’s wellbeing, resulting in trips to the emergency room and sometimes even death.
What to Watch Out For
If you are checking a loved one into a nursing home, you need to carefully monitor the care he or she receives. If a loved one is injured, you can’t expect staff to notify you promptly or to admit that their own negligence or abuse is to blame.
Before selecting a nursing home, check its safety record. The Medicare website has detailed information on every nursing home that receives Medicare or Medicaid. Type in the name and location of the home to learn more about the quality of the staff and the facility’s safety performance. You can also do a general Internet search for information or complaints about a nursing home.
Also regularly visit your loved one and observe conditions inside the home. If you notice bruises, poor hygiene, or weight loss, then speak to management. If you do not see that the situation has improved, you should contact the state authorities.
Bundza & Rodriguez represents those injured in a nursing home through neglect or abuse. Please contact us right away to discuss your case. You can reach us by calling or sending us an online message. We can meet with you and visit the nursing home to talk to your loved one. Many lawsuits result in substantial money damages to those injured by neglect or abuse.