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Difficult Decisions Loom for Relatives of Aging Baby Boomers in South Florida

A difficult decision is looming for a vast majority of Americans.

As Baby Boomers continue to age, both they and their children begin thinking about what will happen when they reach a point they can no longer care for themselves.

A recent story on CNN chronicled the story of Felicia Hudson, who made the heart-wrenching decision to place her ailing, 72-year-old father in a nursing home. She later changed her mind, and brought him back home to live with her, a move that has greatly added to the stress of her everyday life, but has also given her some peace of mind.

Our Fort Lauderdale personal injury attorneys recognize that many people, however, simply don’t have the resources to make this kind of arrangement a reality.

Generally, a Baby Boomer is defined as someone who was born between 1946 and 1964.

CNN reported that the first of the Baby Boomers turned 65 last year. As such, the number of Americans reaching retirement age is expected to double to about 72 million in the next 20 years. This will tax not only the health care system, but also the stress levels among those with older relatives.

Assisted living is a choice that should be approached with a great deal of consideration not only for the financial implications, but the safety aspects as well.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are 16,100 nursing homes in the country. That makes for a lot of options.

Many of these places pride themselves on compassionate assistance and treatment.
But our West Palm Beach personal injury attorneys have seen that’s not always the case.

The National Center on Elder Abuse, a division of the U.S. Administration on Aging, describes the seven major types of elder abuse as physical, sexual, emotional, financial, neglect, abandonment and self-neglect.

The center links to a National Nursing Home Watch List, which provides information by state on nursing homes that have been flagged for abuse or neglect, based on Medicare and Medicaid surveys. In Florida, there were 27 nursing homes where at least one person reported abuse or neglect, five nursing homes where at least two instances of abuse or neglect was reported and one where at least three instances were reported.

The nursing homes were also rated on everything from basic standards of care to creating an accident-free environment. Some low scores in these areas included things like failing to protect residents from theft and not doing enough to prevent bed sores.

The National Committee for the Prevention of Elder Abuse, a non-profit organization, has outlined the following warning signs of potential nursing home abuse:

–Sprains or broken bones.
–Abrasions on arms or legs.
–Torn, stained or bloody underclothing.
–Inappropriate or unusual sexual behavior.
–Is emotionally upset, agitated, withdrawn or non-responsive.
–Exhibits depression or confusion.
–Significant weight loss or gain, not attributed to other factors.
–Having new “best friends.”
–Belongings or property are missing.
–Suspicious signatures on checks or other documents.

If you or someone in your family has been a victim of elder abuse at a nursing home Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Miami-Dade, Palm Beach or the Port St. Lucie area, the South Florida personal injury lawyers at Freeman & Mallard are ready to fight for the compensation that you deserve. Call today to schedule a free and confidential review of your case, 1-800-529-2368.

Additional Resources:

Nursing Home Care, Centers For Disease Control and Prevention

As baby boomers retire, a focus on caregivers, by Emanuella Grinberg, CNN

National Committee for the Prevention of Elder Abuse

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