Surprising Nursing Home Care Statistics
You may already know that the conditions in many South Florida nursing homes are poor, and ripe for abuse or neglect of our elderly and infirm population. But often, it takes statistics to really bring home the reality of how dire the situation is. Here are some pretty frightening and concerning facts about nursing homes in Florida.
We Are Last
According to the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), Florida ranks dead last in long term care. And by last, we mean 51st, including Washington D.C. (Minnesota and Washington State ranked 1st and 2nd). The study included everything from the care and support that are given to patients, to affordability and competition.
As of 2021, data suggests that over 90% of Florida nursing homes were having problems finding staff. When a restaurant can’t find staff, service is a little slower. But when a nursing home can’t find staff, or is understaffed, patients and patient care, suffers.
Many facilities are resorting to just cutting back on admissions, making it harder for people who need nursing home care to find or afford it.
Direct Time and Attention: It’s the Law
How much direct time is your loved one getting from the staff at the nursing home? There’s actually a law that sets the amount of direct contact a patient or resident must get, from nursing home staff. Florida law requires that each patient get 3.6 hours every day from any one of a variety of specialists (including nurses, and mental health, respiratory and occupational therapists).
Staff Admissions to Neglect and Abuse
How would you know whether a loved one is being abused in a nursing home? Just asking the staff may not yield the most accurate data, but actually, the National Institutes of Health actually found that 50% of nursing home staff had admitted that they had, at one time, abused or neglected patients.
It’s worth noting that abuse or neglect, for the purpose of the study, did include telling or profanity, but it also included things like denying food, ignoring feeding times, not moving patients to avoid bedsores, or not cleaning the patient or his or her surroundings.
That information likely leads to the fact that about 20% of visits to emergency rooms from nursing home patients are the result of abuse or neglect, according to one report.
The Bill of Rights
Florida has strong laws that protect nursing home patients-including an entire nursing home patient bill of rights. These rights include the obvious, like the right to proper medical attention, but also include the right to make choices about the patient’s own life and care, and the right to be treated humanely, and with respect.
These rights are often ignored by nursing home staff, which may feel overworked and understaffed. Regardless of the reason, you do have a right to hold a nursing home accountable, for injuries caused to your loved ones by nursing home abuse or neglect.
Has someone you love been abused or neglected in a Florida nursing home? We can help. Call the West Palm Beach personal injury attorneys at Pike & Lustig today.