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Florida nursing home residents have enumerated rights

Nursing homes and assisted-living facilities are vital resources in Florida's infrastructure, as the state leads the nation in aging residents who may require help in keeping their lives running happily. Laws that prohibit abuse in these facilities is also vital in the rare case that the staff is negligent or excessive in their responsibilities.

As a result, Florida statutes include more than 20 specific possible types of elder abuse in residential care. This may open staff to criminal charges, while it also opens staff and their employers to possible civil actions for financial damages in the case of abuse.

Several rights are specifically protected for assisted-living residents. These include communication, religious expression, a social life and financial self-sufficiency. Specific to their homes, residents also have the right to information about available services and the results of inspections on the homes and shared facilities.

Medical care is also ultimately in the hands of residents, who may choose the medications they are on and the circumstances of the care they receive. Complaints must be recorded and responded to by the nursing home's managing organizations.

In the case of abuse, residents have up to two years to file suit against the responsible parties. This may extend to four years if fraud or other bad dealings hid the offense in the first place.

Victims of nursing home abuse, and other types of excess or negligence by nursing home staff, may sue as a last resort to recover damages. This process may be easier and more likely to succeed with proper legal counsel to review evidence and file the proper documents.

Source: FindLaw, "Florida Nursing Home Abuse Laws," accessed May 30, 2018

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