40 years ago this week, the American Health Care Association (AHCA) instituted National Nursing Home Week. Meant as a time of education and awareness, the week aims to help people think about care options for the elderly. This week has been National Nursing Home Week, and the AHCA hopes that people will continue to discuss and think about nursing facility life not only this week, but in the weeks to come.
The AHCA suggests that this week is a perfect time to visit loved ones in facilities, as many facilities around the country will be hosting special events. According to the AHCA, the week aims to honor not only those who live in care homes, but also the caregivers, nurses, and staff that enrich nursing home life.
Florida attorneys think that National Nursing Home Week is a great idea. There certainly should be a celebration of the dedicated staff and nurses who work at care facilities. However, Florida lawyers who see cases of personal injury, slip and fall accidents, and instances of nursing home abuse and negligence, know that this week can be an important week of prevention, as well.
Although most staff who work at care facilities are caring, instances of abuse and neglect can occur, and some staff at care facilities are not adequately trained or hired. Family members who regularly visit friends and loved ones in care – as the AHCA suggests – can often see signs of abuse and work to stop it.
Signs of neglect and abuse can include physical evidence (bruises, marks, injuries, unkempt appearance), emotional evidence (a loved one seems withdrawn, unhappy, frightened), or financial (a loved one seems to be spending inordinate amounts of money on care without clear evidence of where that money is going).
Loved ones who see signs of abuse should contact the authorities immediately. They may also want to contact Florida attorneys. Florida lawyers can help take an elderly loved one out of a bas environment and can gather evidence. Most importantly of all, qualified attorneys can offer an abused or neglected elder all the protection the law affords.