20 percent of Florida’s nursing homes on state watch list

A recent report reviewed the quality of care provided by Florida's nursing homes.

When families must make the difficult decision to move a loved one into a nursing home, they must rely on the long-term care facility to provide the best possible care for their relative.

Unfortunately, nursing homes and their staff do not always live up to these expectations. In the worst-case scenarios, negligence can result in nursing home residents suffering serious injuries, such as pressure sores.

According to a new report, issued by Families for Better Care, 20 percent of the nursing homes in Florida are currently on the watch list for the state, as a result of dangerous conditions in the facility.

Despite this distressing news, Florida's nursing homes fared better in Families for Better Care's most recent Nursing Home Report Card.

Florida ranks 6th in country for nursing home care

Florida's nursing home quality ranking increased from 11th across the country in 2013 to 6th in 2014. In addition, Florida received an overall "A" grade in 2014 - an improvement from the "B" it received in 2013.

Nevertheless, Families for Better Care identified a variety of areas in which Florida's nursing homes could improve. For instance, less than 40 percent of Florida's nursing homes have above average staffing levels for professional nurses - ranking the state 41st in the country in that category. Staffing levels can have a significant effect on the quality of care received by a nursing home resident.

Florida's nursing homes fared better when it came to the amount of time residents receive care from direct care staff, as opposed to professional nurses. On average, residents receive about 2.8 hours of care from a direct care staff member each day. In comparison, residents receive just 1.7 hours of care, on average, from a professional nurse every day.

In addition, about 91 percent of Florida's nursing homes have been cited for deficiencies, ranking the state 23rd in the nation in that area. Florida's long-term care facilities are doing well in terms of the number with citations for severe deficiencies, however. In all, under 7 percent of the nursing homes in the state have been cited for severe deficiencies, according to the report.

If you believe your loved one has been mistreated in a nursing home in Florida, you should take prompt action to ensure their rights are protected. In such situations, it is a good idea to seek the counsel of a skilled personal injury attorney. A legal professional will work to make certain your loved one receives the compensation to which he or she may be entitled.

Keywords: Florida, nursing home