With its warm weather and scenic views, Florida continues to be the top destination for the country’s senior citizens. Florida leads the nation in residents over the age of 65, as they comprise nearly a fifth of the state’s population. Ensuring the health and safety of senior citizens is of paramount concern for their families, but, unfortunately, nursing homes and other senior citizen care centers do not always have seniors’ best interests in mind.
This past summer a Florida jury returned a $114 million verdict against a nursing home for its role in the death of a 76-year-old resident. Her family sued the nursing home for its failure to put measures in place to keep the resident from falling even though it was aware that she was an at-risk resident. Just two weeks after she entered the home, the woman fell, hitting her head and fracturing her upper arm. The family alleged that she never recovered from that first fall. They say the woman suffered from malnourishment, dehydration, and bedsores. They removed her from the home after three months, and she died two months after that.
Another Florida family sued a care center after a female resident drowned in the center’s bathtub. Despite knowing that the woman was severely depressed, it left her alone in a locked bathroom for over 45 minutes. Another Florida nursing home resident died just last month in a similar incident after the staff left her alone in a bathtub. Nursing homes and care centers have a duty to properly supervise their residents. If negligent treatment in a nursing home or other care facility has hurt your loved one, an Orlando personal injury attorney can help you obtain compensation and prevent injuries to other residents.
How to Avoid Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect in Florida
Below are some of the important factors to take into consideration when selecting a nursing home and making sure that caregivers are not abusing your loved one:
- As with all major decisions, you should do a lot of research when selecting a nursing home or care facility for your loved one and gather as much information as you can
- Speak with the families of past and current residents
- Assess your loved one’s situation and what his or her special needs are, and be sure to find a facility that is experienced in those areas
- Regularly and randomly visit your loved one to see his or her living conditions and note any changes in his or her appearance or demeanor
One particularly good source of information is the Florida Agency for Healthcare Administration, which maintains a listing of nursing homes in Florida. On the agency’s website, you can find out more information about each home as well as its ratings based on government inspections. You can view citations that the agency has issued a nursing home for problems. The agency does recommend visiting nursing homes in person and requesting copies of their most recent inspection results because there is a delay of one to five months for new citations appearing on the agency’s website. Additionally, the agency awards a “Gold Seal” award for nursing homes that provide superior services.
If a loved one has been a victim of nursing home abuse or neglect in Florida, contact an Orlando personal injury lawyer at Wooten Kimbrough, P.A. to learn about how you can obtain compensation for his or her pain and suffering.