As individuals age and are less self-sustaining, their overall care and wellbeing becomes even more important to their loved ones. Many families choose to rely on the support and assistance offered by a nursing home. With the promise of skilled staff, immediate medical assistance, and a relaxing, safe environment, nursing homes are often viewed as a wonderful safe haven. Unfortunately, Florida nursing home attorneys caution that what may begin with the promise of enjoying the “golden years” can quickly turn into a family’s worst nightmare.
Nursing home abuse and neglect is a significant problem across the United States, and all over the world. Advocates for the elderly warn that many signs and symptoms of abuse or neglect are “hidden” or go unnoticed for extended periods of time. One of the most concerning forms of abuse or neglect is pressure sores often are located on the rear portion of the body, and without proper medical treatment, can result in serious injuries or death.
Recognizing the signs of neglect is crucial to maintaining the livelihood of elderly loved ones. Some of the signs of pressure sores or neglect include:
- Sudden change in the physical or emotional state of the individual, such as weight loss, depression, anxiety, or noticeable discomfort, bruising, or injuries
- Lack of communication, disorientation, or isolation from family, peers, and regular activities
- Sudden increase in falls, injuries, rash, or complaints about care
- Unexpected use of physical or chemical restraints
Florida Nursing Home Attorneys Encourage Families to Know Rights
Florida nursing homes are required to provide safe, effective, and ethically and legally sound care. This care includes using appropriate equipment, such as lifts and medical devices. Additionally, nursing homes should provide appropriate hygienic care, nutritional support, and monitoring of physical ailments. To support these requirements, Florida has specific laws in place governing nursing homes, including a standard of living that should be followed. Under Florida law, the standard of living includes the following services be provided at every Florida nursing home:
- Access to medical services, medication, and emergency services
- Exercise and appropriate physical activities
- Social activities
- Nutritional meals and support
- Mental health support
Families who believe that their loved one is being neglected or abused have the right to question the actions of the nursing home, and if abuse or neglect is suspected, they have the right to seek legal action.