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Dealing with Nursing Home Abuse: Highly-Rated Florida Nursing Homes Can Still Have Neglect and Abuse Issues

December 7, 2022 | Category: Nursing Home Neglect/Abuse | Share

The rates of nursing home neglect and abuse are alarming. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), one in six individuals age 60 or older has experienced abuse in community settings over the past year, and two-thirds of nursing home staff members admit to committing acts of abuse over this same time period.

The National Council on Aging (NCOA) puts the rate of nursing home abuse in the United States slightly lower, noting that 1 in 10 residents reported some form of abuse. However, the NCOA also reports that at least one study has estimated that “only 1 in 24 cases of abuse are reported to authorities.”

Neglect and Abuse are Concerns at Nursing Homes Throughout Florida

While many people assume that they and their aging loved ones will be safe if they choose a highly-rated Florida nursing home, unfortunately, this is not necessarily the case. We regularly speak with residents—and family members of residents—who have experienced neglect and abuse at nursing homes throughout the state. This includes nursing homes with long complaint records, but it also includes many highly-rated nursing homes that have not had any complaints filed against them previously.

There are several reasons why, including:

  • It Only Takes One Staff Member to Commit Neglect or Abuse – Even if a nursing home gets high marks overall, it only takes one staff member to commit neglect or abuse. If a highly-rated Florida nursing home hires an employee who is willing to engage in negligent or abusive acts, that one employee can put multiple residents at risk.
  • Highly-Rated Nursing Homes Can Go Downhill – Finally, while a nursing home may have earned a high rating in the past, its facilities and services may have gone downhill. From staffing shortages caused by the COVID-19 pandemic to the rising costs of inflation, many nursing homes are now struggling just like other businesses. If a highly-rated nursing home doesn’t have the staff or resources it needs to provide adequate supervision and quality care, this can lead to residents suffering from neglect and abuse.

These aren’t the only reasons, but they are among the most common. If you or a loved one has experienced neglect or abuse in a highly-rated Florida nursing home, the reason why isn’t important. But, what is important is that you seek help promptly—and this means seeing a doctor and talking to a knowledgeable nursing home abuse lawyer in confidence as soon as possible.

Common Forms of Neglect and Abuse in Highly-Rated Florida Nursing Homes

Many of the forms of neglect and abuse that are common in lower-rated Florida nursing homes are prevalent in highly-rated nursing homes as well. The unfortunate reality is that residents in all Florida nursing homes are at risk for all forms of neglect and abuse. The NCOA identifies seven broad categories:

1. Physical Abuse

“Physical abuse means inflicting physical pain or injury upon an older adult.” This includes striking residents, pushing residents, and using both physical and chemical restraints.

2. Sexual Abuse

“Sexual abuse means touching, fondling, intercourse, or any other sexual activity with an older adult, when the older adult is unable to understand, unwilling to consent, threatened, or physically forced.” All forms of unwanted sexual contact, commentary, and visual demonstration qualify as abuse.

3. Emotional Abuse

“Emotional abuse means verbal assaults, threats of abuse, harassment, or intimidation.” While yelling and screaming at nursing home residents constitutes emotional abuse, so does making threats (i.e., threatening to hit residents or withhold their medications) in an even tone.

4. Confinement

“Confinement means restraining or isolating an older adult, other than for medical reasons.” All nursing home residents in Florida are entitled to social contact and the medical support they need, and confining or isolating a resident can have physical and emotional consequences.

5. Passive Neglect

“Passive neglect is a caregiver’s failure to provide an older adult with life’s necessities, including, but not limited to, food, clothing, shelter, or medical care.” While intentional abuse is sadly far too common in Florida nursing homes, so is simply neglecting to ensure that residents’ basic needs are met.

6. Willful Deprivation

“Willful deprivation means denying an older adult medication, medical care, shelter, food, a therapeutic device, or other physical assistance.” Willful deprivation goes beyond neglect, as it involves nursing home caregivers intentionally withholding the medication, nutrition, hydration, or support residents need to live healthy and fulfilling lives.

If you have concerns about any of these forms of neglect or abuse, you should not ignore your concerns simply because your (or your aging loved one’s) nursing home is highly-rated. Nursing home neglect and abuse victims in Florida have clear legal rights—including the right to get the treatment they need and the right to recover the financial compensation they deserve.

Speak with Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Randall L. Spivey in Confidence

Do you have concerns about neglect or abuse in a highly-rated nursing home in Florida? If so, we strongly encourage you to contact Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A. right away. Attorney Randall L. Spivey can assess your situation, explain your options and take all necessary legal action on your (or your loved one’s behalf). Call 888-477-4839 or contact us online at now for a free and confidential consultation.

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