There are over 160 000 Florida residents in long-term care facilities as of 2011, and that number is expected to increase as the population ages. Since Florida has a high number of seniors, it is not surprising that there many nursing home and care facility residents. What is surprising, however, is the number of instances of abuse and neglect in these facilities. In 2011 alone, the State of Florida received over 7500 complaints about elderly nursing home neglect and abuse.
When families decide to put their loved ones in a nursing home or car facility, they often make the difficult decision to do so because they need someone to provide excellent care for their loved one. Preventing Miami nursing home abuse and neglect, however, is about more than just placing a loved one in a nursing home. To prevent instances of abuse, families will also want to:
1) Select a nursing home carefully. Every nursing home resident has a right to live safely and comfortably. However, facilities vary widely. Take the time to visit several and ask to see official, written policies regarding employee screening, abuse compliant processes, and safety policies. Does the facility take care to help prevent Miami slip and fall accidents and other injuries? What policies will help protect your loved one? Are there gaps in the policies that make your loved one vulnerable? Ask to speak to current and past residents of the facility as well as their families.
2) Consider not just the nursing home, but everyone who individually comes into contact with your family member. Consider, for example, other residents of the nursing home or care facility. Are they safe? Are there policies in place to handle dangerous or violent nursing home residents? Each year, nursing home residents are assaulted and harmed by other residents. Find out if your loved one’s nursing home or care home has policies in place for screening residents as well as employees.
3) Become familiar with the Residents’ Bill of Rights and Florida Statute 400, both of which protect Florida nursing home residents. These will help you understand what rights you and your family member have.
4) Visit often. You should have the right to visit your loved one when you like. Take advantage of this to drop by. Get to know other residents and the specific employees who spend time with your loved one.
5) Trust your instincts. If your loved one seems unhappy or if you feel that something is amiss, ask questions until you get the answers you need. In many cases, victims of abuse are too afraid or embarrassed to come forward, so do not take assurances at face value; continue to seek answers.
6) Know the signs of Miami elder and nursing home abuse. Bruises, STDs, scratches, broken bones, weight loss, depression, poor physical condition, dehydration, and unexplained loss of money can all be signs of abuse of neglect. If you think that neglect or abuse has affected your loved one, speak to a Miami personal injury attorney about next steps and options to keep your loved one safe.
The legal team at the Flaxman Law Group has provided professional legal assistance to South Florida personal injury victims for decades. With offices in Miami, Homestead, and Hollywood, the Flaxman Law Group represents clients across South Florida. For more information, contact the Flaxman Law Group today to schedule a free, no obligation consultation.