The subject of nursing home abuse and neglect is one that most people would rather avoid. It is usually very hard for family members to watch a loved one being moved from a warm home environment to a nursing home, long-term care facility or a retirement community. The hope is that the individual will receive nurturing care and respect in the new environment, but this is not always the case. The state of Florida has some outstanding nursing homes with very diligent and caring employees, but recent abuse reports from Florida show how there are still many negligent nursing homes in the state.
Residents of Florida nursing homes and other similar care centers have rights, and these facilities have responsibilities. When the rights of a resident are trampled, or when the facility fails to meet the mandated responsibilities imposed by the state, there is legal recourse available. If you have suspicions that a loved one is the victim of such abuse or neglect, it is crucial that you contact an experienced Florida nursing home abuse lawyer right away.
Florida Nursing Homes with Low Ratings
The following nursing homes in Florida have been given low ratings based on health inspections, staffing, and quality measures. One of the nursing homes on this list is marked as a Special Focus Facility (SFF), which indicates that this nursing home has committed consistent violations of health and safety regulations. The facilities marked as SFF are given twice the number of federal inspections.
|Nursing Home||Overall Rating||Health Inspections||Staffing||Quality Measures|
|Tallahassee Memorial Hospital Extended Care||Below Average||Much Below Average||Much Above Average||Much Above Average|
|Huntington Place||Much Below Average||Much Below Average||Average||Below Average|
|North Rehabilitation Center||Below Average||Much Below Average||Average||Much Above Average|
|St. Andrews Bay Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation||Much Below Average||Much Below Average||Below Average||Above Average|
|Avante at Orlando, Inc.||Below Average||Much Below Average||Above Average||Below Average|
|Ocean View Nursing & Rehabilitation Center, LLC||Much Below Average||Much Below Average||Average||Above Average|
|Oak Haven Rehab and Nursing Center||Much Below Average||Much Below Average||Average||Average|
|Bristol at Tampa Rehab and Nursing Center, LLC||Much Below Average||Much Below Average||Average||Above Average|
|Avante at Ormond Beach, Inc.||Below Average||Much Below Average||Above Average||Average|
|Hawthorne Health and Rehab of Sarasota||Below Average||Much Below Average||Average||Average|
|Excel Care Center||Much Below Average||Much Below Average||Average||Average|
|Palm Garden of Vero Beach||Below Average||Much Below Average||Above Average||Below Average|
|Consulate Health Care of Lake Parker||Much Below Average||Much Below Average||Average||Above Average|
|Brighton Gardens of Tampa||Below Average||Much Below Average||Above Average||Below Average|
|Fort Pierce Health Care||Below Average||Much Below Average||Above Average||Average|
|Consulate Health Care of Melbourne||Average||Below Average||Below Average||Much Above Average|
|Beneva Lakes Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center||Special Focus Facility (SFF)||N/A||N/A||N/A|
Florida Nursing Home Residents’ Broad Rights
Florida nursing staff members may cause different types of nursing home abuse and neglect:
- Sexual abuse of a resident
- Hitting or otherwise physically abusing a resident
- Denying shelter or comfort to a resident
- Denying a resident food and water
- Stealing money or property from a resident
If you believe your loved one has suffered from any of these forms of abuse or neglect, contact a qualified Florida nursing home abuse lawyer for legal assistance.
The Prevalence of Elder Abuse in Florida
Unfortunately, a large number of affected nursing home residents do not bring a case against the employees who have neglected or abused them. Sadly, this is also true for the elderly who are abused by their own family members. One study revealed that only a mere one out of every 14 incidents of elder abuse ever gets reported to authorities. Incidentally, a whopping 90 percent of elder abuse comes at the hands of family members. This may be due to the fact that a large percentage of individuals age 60 and over live with family, rather than living in a nursing home or other care facility. Any elderly person who has been abused or suffered neglect, whether in a nursing home or a private home, should contact an experienced attorney right away.
Symptoms and Signs of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect
By learning the signs and symptoms of elder abuse and neglect, you can help protect a loved one from further trauma. Elderly victims are often afraid that they will experience retaliation from the abuser if they speak up and tell another person. This is especially true of individuals who are very old or have a disability or dementia. The responsibility to file reports falls onto the families of residents and others who are suspecting abuse.
If you suspect neglect or abuse is happening, contact an attorney and the proper authorities. In these situations, it is better to be safe than sorry. An elderly person’s quality of life and life expectancy can easily be adversely affected by neglect and abuse.
Some signs of nursing home physical abuse are:
- The elderly person cowers, flinches, or tries to hide when around certain staff
- Injuries the elderly person denies or can’t explain
- Cuts, bruises, burns, broken bones, scrapes, sprains, finger pressure marks from grabbing, and other injuries showing on both sides of the body
While neglect may not involve the physical striking of an elderly person, its effects can be equally devastating. Signs of nursing home neglect include:
- Unclean bedding
- Unattended medical needs
- Wrong prescriptions
- Disheveled appearance
- Dirty clothes
- Unusual or drastic weight loss
Unfortunately, an unscrupulous caregiver who has access to an elderly person’s financial documents or checks may find it easy to extract funds through various means. Some signs of elder financial abuse involve:
- Bounced checks
- Unexplained bank account withdrawals
- Unexpected and unusual new “best friends” (most likely involving a large age difference)
- Unusual changes in a will or estate planning
Emotional and Sexual Abuse
Some of the same signs that appear in the elderly from neglect and physical abuse are also prevalent with emotional abuse. When older individuals are belittled, taunted, teased, and treated like children, they often cower and try to avoid the presence of the abuser. Sexual abuse in nursing homes often creates similar behavioral issues in the elderly and has telltale signs. Unwanted touching, kissing, groping and nonconsensual sex fall into the category of sexual abuse, and the elderly should not have to suffer such heinous crimes.
Speak with KBA Attorneys Today
Nursing home residents in Florida who experience unsanitary facility conditions, neglect, prescription errors, physical abuse, or sexual abuse have every right to file a lawsuit against these negligent care facilities. Florida has stringent standards to regulate the quality of health care provided to nursing home residents, but if these regulations are violated then legal action is necessary.
If you suspect a loved one is suffering from any type of abuse or neglect, contact a dedicated Florida nursing home abuse lawyer. You can learn about what civil and criminal legal actions you can take by calling or by filling out an online form for a free case evaluation.