Florida Nursing Homes Aren’t Being Penalized For Abuse
Independent investigators into Florida nursing homes have found that 32 out of 43 cases they looked into had no recourse for found elderly abuse. The reports discovered staff neglect that caused or contributed to the abuse, injury or death of residents. However, Florida’s Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) did nothing to prevent future abuse.
About Elder Abuse
Unfortunately, physical abuse of an elder is more common than most people would think as well. Physical abuse is any force that causes personal injury or pain. This includes striking, hitting, beating, shoving, among other actions. Physical abuse also can mean tying down an elder with unnecessary or brutal restraints that limit movement. This can lead to muscle atrophy and further degeneration of the muscles.
Physical abuse against the elderly may be perpetrated by an acquaintance, doctor, nurse, caregiver, family member or another individual in the life of an elderly person. According to the US National Committee for the Prevention of Elder Abuse (NCPEA), most perpetrators of elder physical abuse are unemployed, single and live with the elder in his or her own home.
Some of the more common signs of physical abuse of the elderly are:
- Unexplained bruises and cuts
- Torn or bloody clothing
- Black eyes
- Broken bones
The Biggest Issue of Florida Nursing Homes
A majority of Florida nursing homes do not receive any recourse when the state discovers abuse. If the agency issues a fine, it is normally minimal. For example, a Tallahassee facility had to pay $5,000 when it failed to provide adequate health care for eight residents. Eight people got sepsis from neglect. Yet, the Florida nursing home received a slap on the wrist. $5,000 is less than one of those residents pay each month to stay there.
This isn’t an isolated incident. Dozens of Florida nursing homes have long records of failing to meet state and federal standards. Currently, there is little risk that regulators will shut them down. USA Today investigation found that 54 Florida nursing homes scored the lowest in the state for over 18 quarters and received 100 or more violations. Forty-six of the worst 54 homes settle or contest lawsuits from mistreatment, abuse or neglect that led to almost 200 deaths. State fines for nursing home violations average less than $5,000. Since 2013, AHCA has closed only two homes and blocked new admissions for three.
This lack of accountability means these horrible facilities will continue, and there is no recourse to stop them. This is why it important to legally put an end to it. If the state won’t save your loved one, we will.
Get Justice for a Loved One
If you suspect abuse or neglect, do not accept denials. Instead, contact a knowledgeable lawyer experienced with representing victims. When an abuser injures a resident at a care facility, it is not always obvious what happened and legal liability. The evidence available is often incomplete and may be self-serving for the defendant – the nursing home. This is why a free consultation with us is so important. We have been assisting the injured for 20 years. We help clients from all over the country. Our consultations are completely free. Call today.