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Why Does Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Occur in Florida?

According to Quality of Care in Nursing Homes, a recent government report, the country’s nursing homes and assisted living communities are showing a frightening trend towards increased health and safety failures. Although a number of lawsuits against communities have raised awareness about the problem, the industry still seems to be failing some residents. According to experts, there are a number of reasons why this abuse and neglect is allowed to occur:

*Lack of background checks. Currently, over half of all states require nursing home staff to get some form of background check, but no national background check is required. A 2005 report from the Government Accountability Office criticized this procedure, as it allows potentially unqualified staff to slip through into employment.

*A combination of residents. Recently, this blog reported on a nursing home resident who was violently assaulted by a fellow resident. That story highlighted a common problem: various residents are often placed in one home. Some residents may have criminal records or violent pasts and may be placed with little supervision alongside residents who may not be able to resist. This can lead to assault and resultant personal injury.

*Lack of training and monitoring. Most staff are carefully trained, but some do not get the monitoring and special training they need to deal with specific situations. When this occurs, slip and falls accidents and other serious injuries can occur to residents.

*High patient to staff ratios. In cases where homes are crowded, there may not always be enough staff to properly devote enough time to each resident. In cases where workers have case loads that are too large, negligence can occur. Improper management of care facilities is a related cause of some cases of negligence and abuse.

*Lack of family involvement. According to some experts, this is one of the biggest factors leading to abuse and negligence. In many cases, it is family and friends who are able to spot warning signs and either prevent abuse or stop it. Many experts advise friends and family to visit care facilities regularly and ask questions about care received.

If you have a friend or loved one who may be suffering from nursing home abuse or neglect, contact the authorities. Also consider contacting a qualified Florida attorney. A qualified Florida lawyer can represent your loved one and can ensure that they get all the assistance and help due to them under the law.