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Nursing home neglect a tragic risk in West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale

Making the decision to put a loved one in a long term care facility isn’t easy. The words ‘Nursing Home’ strike fear into many of our elderly and with good reason. Our Fort Lauderdale nursing home neglect lawyers understand this difficult decision.

Just the other day the St. Petersburg Times reported on a Largo nursing home being placed on a federal list of problem nursing homes. The facility was cited for failing to supervise residents while they were smoking and broken call bells were found in residents rooms. This is the 6th Florida facility placed on the federal list.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention annually almost 1,800 elderly adults who live in nursing homes die from fall related injuries. Roughly 75% of nursing home residents fall each year and usually they fall more than once. There are many reasons residents fall which include poor fitting shoes, muscle weakness and medications. Sadly, as many as one-fourth are from nursing home hazards like improper bed height, poor lighting and wet floors.

Medical News Today reports sepsis in the elderly causes a long term impact to their cognitive and physical functions. Sepsis is a life threatening condition that is caused by the bloodstream being overwhelmed by bacteria. Bed sores, an indication of poor nursing home care, can lead to sepsis.

Nationally nursing home beds have declined 5.3% from 1999 to 2008. At 85,250 Florida nursing home beds have decreased almost 3%; and about 75 nursing homes have closed, even though the older age groups have grown in population.

Patients stay in Broward County nursing homes 13% fewer days then they did in 2007 and 5.6% fewer days was the figure for Palm Beach County.

Floridians have options to nursing home care which could explain why facilities in Broward and Palm Beach counties only fill 75% and 82% of their beds, respectively.

The Miami Herald reported there are alternatives to placing your loved one in a nursing home which include in home care and assisted living.

The number one form of elder care in the U.S., according to Guide to Nursing Homes, is having your loved one move in with you. However, not everyone has the means, room and skills needed to do this.

An assisted living facility may be a good fit for your loved one if, for example, they don’t want to drive anymore but want their independence. These facilities offer residents a private apartment with housekeeping, shared meals and laundry service are usually included in the monthly fee. And, if needed, aids can assist with tasks like dressing and bathing.

In Florida, Medicaid offers money-saving programs that help pay for care at home or in less costly settings, which help keep loved ones out of nursing homes.

Helpful sources to be used if you are helping an elderly loved one find a place to live are:
Guide to Choosing a Nursing Home

Federal List of Problem Nursing Homes

If you have concerns about the conditions of a Florida nursing home, we encourage you to contact Freeman & Mallard for a free and confidential appointment. Call Freeman & Mallard today at 1-800-529-2368.

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