Sadly, nursing home neglect is becoming an increasing risk in Florida. Let’s explore the reasons why.
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Suing a Nursing Home for Neglect
Before looking at the reasons for the increase in nursing home neglect in the Sunshine State, it’s worth mentioning that if you have a loved one who has been affected by neglect in a nursing home, you at least have the opportunity to sue.
Your loved one could claim damages and the nursing home or employee responsible for the neglect could be brought to justice.
The first step is to get advice from an experienced law firm that handles nursing home neglect claims. Find out more on www.wieandlaw.com.
Understaffed Nursing Homes Lead to Neglect
One of the main reasons for the increase in nursing home neglect in Florida has to do with homes being understaffed.
When facilities are poorly staffed, caregivers can become overworked, tired, and stressed. In turn, some caregivers who experience those issues can take their frustrations out on the people they are supposed to be caring for.
While things like long hours and stress are no excuse for neglect, they’re certainly partially responsible. If you suffer from stress yourself, check out these six best exercises to help you relax.
Also, when there are staff shortages, basic tasks like adjusting immobile residents to prevent bed sores, noting changes in residents’ health and wellbeing, and maintaining sanitary protocols can all be overlooked and cause neglect.
How Understaffed are Nursing Homes in Florida?
A report by the Florida Health Care Association from August 2021 shows that a staggering 92% of nursing homes are experiencing staffing shortages, with 88% of nursing homes saying the problem has gotten worse since 2020.
The report also reveals that 98% of nursing homes in Florida, at the time of the survey, had asked members of staff to work overtime during the past month and 75% had brought in temp agency workers to help.
Perhaps most worrying is the report’s findings that the Florida staff shortages contributed to around half of all those nursing homes surveyed saying they had cut down on the monthly number of resident admissions they allow.
High Turnover Due to the Pandemic
The Covid-19 pandemic has also affected nursing home neglect. Since the pandemic began, the nursing home industry has seen a much higher turnover of staff.
That means nursing homes have been hiring people in a rush. Therefore, many are unqualified, poorly trained, and even have criminal backgrounds, due to checks not being performed correctly.
It’s important that nursing homes in Florida and elsewhere begin tightening up their operations to prevent neglect from happening. But we also need more qualified and reliable people working for nursing homes.
Many Cases of Nursing Home Neglect Are Unreported
It isn’t only understaffing and a high turnover that has contributed to neglect. Some nursing homes simply have unscrupulous people working for them, which can result in resident neglect, abuse, and even sexual assault.
Other nursing homes in Florida lack things like correct infectious disease control. Worryingly, according to an investigation by the New York Times that was published in December 2021, many instances of nursing home neglect go unreported.
The New York Times investigation centered around how neglect incidents impacted the Medicare and Medicaid Services’ rating system for nursing homes. The rating system is used to assess the safety and long-term care of residents.
The investigators found at least 2,700 dangerous incidents involving neglect and abuse that were not included in the rating system’s figures.
To be clear, many of those incidents of neglect and abuse were identified by state inspectors and also verified by their superiors, so we can be sure that thousands of cases of nursing home neglect do indeed sadly go unreported. Therefore, nursing home neglect could be on the rise more than we already know it is.