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New Bill Aims to Curb Nursing Home Neglect

With nursing home abuse and neglect on the rise in Florida, a new bill may provide a solution. This bill is a part of a larger agenda that provides funding to expand community- and home-based care across the country.

What is nursing home neglect?

Negligence at nursing homes can take many forms and is considered abuse. Since many nursing home residents are unable to communicate their needs to staff, this neglect can often be unintentional.

Other cases of neglect can be attributed to a lack of staffing or training or simple burnout. This can result in ongoing injuries, including bedsores, or even death, for nursing home residents.

How can the new nursing home neglect bill help?

With allocated funds distributed where they are needed the most, cases of nursing home neglect are expected to drop. A few provisions this bill offers include:

• Enforcing nursing facilities to have infection control and prevention specialists

• Increasing inspections of nursing facilities

• Providing extra support and training for low-scoring facilities

• Requiring nursing facilities to have at least one registered nurse on duty 24 hours a day

• Instituting minimum staffing at facilities

• Increasing pay and benefits at facilities to reduce turnover and retain experienced staff

• Restricting nursing facilities from forcing patients and families to waive their rights to take matters of neglect or abuse to courts

Your family and nursing home neglect

The decision to put a family member into a nursing facility is never one taken lightly. You should not have to worry that your loved one isn’t being taken care of when he or she cannot properly express his or her needs. If you notice new or worsening injuries when visiting your family member at a nursing home, it is a good idea to speak with someone in charge.

Additionally, watch out for signs that your loved one is being overmedicated, including excessive sleepiness. Some facilities use this method to keep patients calm and under control, but it can be considered a form of nursing home abuse.

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