The definition of elder neglect is the failure to care for your loved ones properly. When the nursing home fails to provide the level of care that is required for the patient by not providing the services or supervision necessary to maintain their health and comfort. Negligence on the part of nursing home staff is a serious issue that often results in the patient suffering from minor to serious injuries, illness, and even death.
The neglect of patients in Florida nursing homes is far too common. If you have suspicions that your loved ones are being neglected by the staff entrusted with their care, it is your responsibility to act now and report your suspicions to ensure the level of care needed is being provided.
Contact our Distasio Law Firm today, our aggressive and diligent elder abuse attorneys will do everything to help you and your family through these hard times and seek justice for the wrongdoing.
Common Acts of Neglect By Nursing Homes and Their Staff Members Seen in Florida
Some of the most common acts of neglect that our attorneys see in our Florida nursing homes and assisted living facilities include:
- Failing to properly supervise residents, which can lead to them “eloping”, which means leaving the facility without someone accompanying them which can lead to injury.
- Failing to provide medication in a timely manner.
- Failing to turn and reposition residents which leads to bed sores, aka pressure sores.
- Failing to report infections, or other illnesses to doctors.
- Failing to provide a clean sanitary living environment can lead to infections, such UTI’s.
- Failing to assist the resident with daily hygiene and personal maintenance.
- Failing to identify a pattern of falls that often lead to a resident suffering from broken bones, head trauma, or other catastrophic injuries.
- Failing to assist or supervise resident with food intake leading to choking and sometimes death.
Understaffing Often Leads to Neglect in Nursing Homes and Assisted Living Facilities
The most common cause we see leading to the neglect of nursing home and assisted living residents in Florida involves the understaffing of the facility, paired with poorly trained support staff members. The issue of understaffing comes from the facilities business desire, to make more profit. Nursing staff are the highest cost of these skilled nursing facilities, and by not staffing at the higher level of need of the patient or residents, saves the company money on their salary expenses. Of course it is fair for businesses to make profit, but not at the expense of our loved ones lives and safety, and sadly many facilities are more focused on the dollar and not the residents’ needs. When this type of greed takes over, the level of care provided slips far below the acceptable and required level, and the outcome for the resident is being neglected, as the staff does not have the time to help everyone that they are assigned to properly.
This also happens with the training of staff members, as training hours and training professionals cost the company money. The greed that controls the higher profit margins outcome, is the same greed that leads to our loved ones being mistreated or neglected. Either way, Scott Distasio, a highly rated and experienced Florida nursing home neglect lawyer with 32+ years’ experience is here to help you hold them accountable for their negligence.
Dementia Patients Are More Vulnerable to Acts of Neglect
Patients in these skilled nursing facilities who live with dementia, are bed ridden, or nearing the end of their life are far more susceptible to injury or death due to negligence. Dementia patients are more often neglected because they do not always understand what is happening to them or around them, meaning they are not often able to care for themselves on a regular basis. These patients also find it very difficult to express their concerns to their loved ones, both out of fear, and because they have reduced cognitive functions.
Patients who are bedridden or nearing the end of their life, and not able to get up and move about on their own are also at a very high risk of neglect. When the staff does not have the ability to spend the amount of time required with each patient, some patients are left without being repositioned, moved, or even changed from their dirty clothing. This lack of motion and position leads to pressure sores, also called bedsores, and these highly painful and potentially deadly ulcers can become infected, leading to even more physical and medical complications.
It may be a surprise knowing these facilities are for the purpose of caring for the elderly in need, that the staff levels in the majority are just not high enough to provide the care the residents require to enjoy their remaining time with us. They suffer the consequences of corporate greed, and we as their family must act to prevent it happening to others.
What to Do if Your Loved One Is Being Neglected in a Florida Skilled Nursing Facility
When you suspect your elderly family member is being neglected, the first thing you need to do is make sure they are safe. Whether that means they are safe in the facility, or safe by being removed from the facility and finding a better environment for them. Once you make sure they are safe and in good care, it is imperative that you report the neglect for an investigation to take place. You are able to report the act or poor conduct to the state Agency for Health Care Administration, the Adult Protective Services central abuse hotline, and if the conduct is criminal such as an act of deliberate abuse, to your local law enforcement agency.
Then, your next call should be to a skilled and experienced nursing home abuse and neglect attorney in Florida, like Scott Distasio who has been handling cases like yours for more than 32 years. Our legal team will do everything possible to help uncover the negligence with a detailed investigation, ordering medical records, hiring expert witnesses, and doing everything in our power to hold the facility accountable for their actions that caused harm to your family member.
Our Florida Attorneys Fight Against the Neglect of Patients in Nursing Homes
Assisted living facilities are meant to provide safety and care for the most vulnerable population of people. When they fail to provide that care and cause harm or injury to your loved ones, we commit ourselves to holding them accountable and recovering damages on behalf of your elderly family member.
Even though the outcome you seek may not be financial, the claim you bring will show these corporations that you mean business, and will not tolerate the way they neglect patients. Sadly, it is the lawsuit that will cause the facility to make changes and provide better care. When a for-profit company must turn over their money because they caused harm, they start to see the error of their ways.
Our committed legal professionals at Distasio Law Firm fight against the neglect of patients in Florida nursing homes and assisted living centers. If you or your loved one suffered injuries or other harm due to a skilled nursing facilities staff negligence, call us today.