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Care plans and assessments should prevent nursing home injuries

The nursing home industry is heavily regulated, and for good reason. After all, these institutions are tasked with caring for one of our country's most vulnerable populations. Many of the laws and regulations in this area are aimed at ensuring nursing home resident safety. Although it is hoped that all nursing home employees and owners will abide by these rules, this is not always the case. Therefore, it often falls on residents and their families to know the rules, nursing home neglect law and how to act to protect their rights.

One regulation that can be pivotal in a nursing home neglect case deals with resident assessment and care plans. Under the regulation, nursing homes must create a care plan for all residents. This plan should include information related to any medical diagnoses, medical history and doctor's orders. Also, within two weeks of a resident's admittance, a nursing home must conduct an examination to determine that resident's functional capacity.

Such assessments must be conducted every 12 months and reviewed at least every three months. However, it may be necessary to review a resident's care plan and functional capacity after there has been a significant change. Nursing homes that fail to do this and revise a resident's care plan accordingly may put that resident at risk of harm.

Florida's regulations with regard to nursing homes are critical for safe and adequate care of our elderly loved ones. However, when those rules are violated, innocent individuals can wind up hurt. When this happens, victims may want to assess the applicable rules and laws to see if they might be able to file a nursing home neglect lawsuit in an attempt to recover compensation. This could help offset harm done to a nursing home resident, hold a nursing home facility accountable and further protect the rights of the nursing home tenant.

Source: Florida Legislature, "59A-4.109 Resident Assessment and Care Plan," accessed on July 22, 2016

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