How to Report Nursing Home Abuse or Neglect in Florida: A Guide
Sadly, nursing home abuse remains a serious public health problem in our country. The National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA) reports that 10 percent of the residents of assisted living facilities have experienced some form of abuse, neglect, or mistreatment. In light of the COVID-19 outbreak, many families have questions about how to protect their most vulnerable loved ones. You may be wondering: How do I report nursing home abuse or neglect in Florida? Below, our West Palm Beach nursing home abuse lawyers offer a brief guide on what you need to do to protect your vulnerable loved one.
Step #1: Take Immediate Action to Protect the Vulnerable Nursing Home Resident
As a starting point, health emergencies always require immediate action. If you believe that your vulnerable loved one is in danger because of nursing home abuse or nursing home neglect, your first priority should be to get them to safety. You may even need to call 911 to get them emergency assistance. When it comes to the health and safety of your loved one, it is better to be safe than sorry. Follow up on any suspicions of abuse or neglect.
Step #2: Make a Proactive Effort to Document the Abuse or Neglect
Once the situation has stabilized, you and your family should make a proactive effort to document the abuse/neglect. Among other things, you should write down exactly what happened, take photographs of any physical injuries, and get contact information for supporting witnesses. It will be far less challenging to get the authorities to take action—and to hold the negligent nursing home accountable—if you have well-documented evidence of the abuse.
Step #3: File a Complaint with Florida Agency for Health Care Administration
For the most part, assisted living facilities and long-term care centers are regulated at the state level. Suspected abuse or neglect should be reported to the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration (ACHA). You can file a formal complaint over the phone by calling 1-888-419-3456 or through the internet via the official Licensed Health Care Facility Complaint Form. State regulators can help to launch an investigation of the matter.
Step #4: Get Help from a Florida Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
While reporting the matter to state regulators is an important step, it is often not enough to get your family justice. An experienced South Florida nursing home abuse attorney will be able to review your case and take action to hold the negligent facility accountable. You and your family may be entitled to financial compensation for economic and non economic damages.
We can help. At Pike & Lustig, LLP, our Florida nursing home abuse lawyers are compassionate, experienced advocates for families. If your vulnerable loved one was harmed in an assisted living facility, we can help. Call us now for a free, no obligation initial consultation. With offices in Miami and West Palm Beach, we handle nursing home abuse and neglect claims throughout Southeastern Florida.