Nursing Home Abuse is on the rise. Americans are living longer than ever before, and nursing homes and assisted living facilities provide an option for many older family members. However, as our senior population in Florida continues to swell, demands on these facilities increase, sometimes resulting in a serious reduction in the quality of resident care. During the period January 1999 to January 2001, almost one-third of all U.S. nursing homes were cited for nursing home abuse, with many of the victims suffering serious injuries such as hip fractures. In all, more than 5,200 nursing homes were indicted for over 9,000 nursing home abuse cases (U.S. Congress/USA Today).
The paltry state of nursing homes is staggering. With poor pay and working conditions, nursing home employment vacancy sits at 11.7 percent with an annual turnover rate of 76 percent. Additionally, an estimated 18 percent of nurse aides employed in nursing homes live below the poverty line (Philadelphia Inquirer).
In a report to Congress in early 2002, the Department of Health and Human Services cited that 90 percent of nursing homes have inadequate staff. Of the 500,000 nursing home abuse deaths occurring during 1999, cause of death for 4,138 of these individuals was listed as starvation, dehydration, or infection resulting from bedsores. These deaths could be traced back to inadequate staffing (Associated Press). For more information on nursing home abuse visit our Nursing Home Resource Center.
Thus, the need for a good nursing home abuse lawyer is more important than ever. If you believe you or a loved one has been a victim of nursing home abuse, contact the lawyers of Gordon & Doner for more information.
Preventing Nursing Home Abuse
Visit often and at different times of the day.
Express your concerns to the nurses, aides, and other professionals that care for your loved one.
Talk to their doctor.
Call the state ombudsman at (850) 414-2330.
If you believe your loved one is a victim of nursing home abuse, you may want to consider taking legal action against the nursing home to stop the abuse and to protect the resident from further abuse.
Nursing Home Resident's Rights
Nursing home residents are protected under the Nursing Home Reform Act and Americans with Disabilities Act and should never have to suffer from nursing home abuse.
The Residents' Bill of Rights
The Nursing Home Reform Act established the following rights for nursing home residents (American Association of Retired Persons/AARP):
- The right to freedom from abuse, mistreatment, and neglect;
- The right to freedom from physical restraints;
- The right to privacy;
- The right to accommodation of medical, physical, psychological, and social needs;
- The right to participate in resident and family groups;
- The right to be treated with dignity;
- The right to exercise self-determination;
- The right to communicate freely;
- The right to participate in the review of one's care plan and to be fully informed in advance about any changes in care, treatment, or change of status in the facility; and
- The right to voice grievances without discrimination or reprisal.
Contact the nursing home abuse lawyers at Gordon & Doner for more information.