The decision to place an elderly relative into a nursing home is a difficult one to make. An individual must not only consider the costs associated with the care, but must also handle the emotional toll of giving complete control of a loved one's health over to what are, essentially, complete strangers.
Nursing homes throughout the nation, and in Florida, serve an important purpose in our society. These institutions are meant to provide quality care to the elderly when that care cannot be received at home. Families rightly expect nursing homes to treat their patients like family. This means safety should come first.
A recent state inspection of a Florida hospital has led to a citation for a shortage of nurses on staff. The review found nine nursing units were at least one nurse short of state mandated standards, which is considered a risk to patient safety. Though the hospital has hired enough nurses to fill the gap since the report was filed, these state inspections occur only periodically, and many southern Florida hospitals may face similar staffing shortfalls for extensive periods of time.