Millions of Americans rely on nursing homes and their caregivers to ensure the safety and health of our elderly friends and relatives. This is certainly true in Florida, home to millions of senior citizens who often require specialized medication and care to reduce pain and stay active. Betrayal of the trust that nursing homes assume for residents can be painful and damaging.
Caring for seniors can be a complicated and difficult process. Many adult children and families rely on nursing homes to provide predictable and professional care for elders once they are less able to take care of themselves.
The abuse of patients and residents in nursing homes and long-term care facilities can cause major physical, psychological and financial problems to victims of abuse and their families. These problems and their causes are often unnoticed and underreported, as the isolated nature of assisted living and senior life can hide them.
People are entitled to safety and respect regardless of age or living arrangements. Although elder abuse in nursing homes is a relatively rare violation of a resident's or family's trust, it still poses a significant problem in Florida, home to the largest senior population in the United States.
Nursing home neglect is, by its nature, a hidden problem. It is difficult to take a clear look at the dangers inherent in denying or forgetting care for seniors who are reliant on professional caregivers. This is why failure to properly care for nursing home residents should be brought to the attention of law enforcement.
Neglect is too common in nursing homes, and too easy. Chronic conditions with high recovery times and less movement can lead caregivers to ignore subtle symptoms such as pallid skin, bedsores and general poor health. This also makes neglect harder to determine, and difficult to track if it has been found by law enforcement agents.
As people age, both the risk of falling and the potential risks of resulting injury tend to increase. Elder people residing in nursing homes may have more health risk factors that make them likely to fall. While falls may not necessarily result from outright abuse, failing to take preventative measures may fall into the category of negligence.
The best way to protect your loved one from nursing home neglect or abuse is to do your due diligence. Finding out how nursing homes in your area of Florida operate is a great first step. Obviously, a nursing home filled with clean, happy and healthy residents is a good indication of proper operations, but it is a good idea to delve a little deeper before you make your final decision.
Ensuring that our elders are properly cared for and protected is a goal many Florida residents share. There are times when placing an elder in a nursing home is the best choice, but we want to make sure you understand that it might not be your only choice.
Two dangers that your senior relative faces as a nursing home resident in Florida are overmedication and chemical restraints. With allegations of improper medication administration and use of chemical restraints on the rise, it is important for you to know how a senior care facility is treating your loved one. Your relative may suffer from dementia, bipolar disorder, or some other mental or physical ailment that may make them more aggressive at times than normal. They may also suffer from anxiety. Regardless of their medical and mental conditions, you should keep a watchful eye on the type and frequency of medication your loved one's caregivers give them.