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Criminal charges follow neglect in nursing homes

Assisted living is a big business in Florida. The Sunshine State has the highest average population and the largest number of senior citizens in the country, and many of our elder family and friends need a little extra help keeping their lives safe and happy.

Although nursing homes and other assisted-living facilities are designed to make sure that health and life satisfaction stays steady for people with extra needs, some homes have a spotty safety record. Nursing home neglect can result in declining health, bedsores, dehydration and other dangerous conditions.

One Williston home has been accused of several shortcomings that may have cost two of their residents their lives. The victim of a traumatic brain injury became enraged and struck an 86-year-old resident many times, leading to the resident's death. A 72-year-old resident hit her head when she fell at the same facility a month later, and was not discovered until six hours later.

Two nursing home administrators have been charged with elderly neglect, a third-degree felony under Florida law. Victims of nursing home abuse or neglect have the right to sue for financial damages over medical expenses or other costs related to poor treatment in assisted living.

Elder abuse or neglect can often be prevented by family members and friends looking out for and keeping tabs on people in the care of nursing homes. Nursing homes may also be investigated for records of treatment and any previous problems with creating the conditions for abuse or neglect. Legal representation may help victims and their families sort out their options for restitution.

Source: Northwest Florida Daily News, "Better prevent neglect at nursing homes," Jan. 19, 2018

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