The news of more cuts being made in Florida nursing homes has our nursing home abuse and neglect lawyers in Pompano Beach and elsewhere in South Florida concerned about the impact this will have on elder care in long-term facilities. It is important that elders get the quality care and one-on-one contact they deserve, but the state is making it difficult to ensure they get treatment and rehabilitation. Moving forward, it looks like it will be up to ordinary citizens to police the system and identify problems with abuse and neglect in Coral Springs nursing homes or long-term care facilities throughout the state.
We posted previously on our South Florida Injury Lawyers Blog about state cuts that would ultimately affect the care given to our elders. Recent cuts involved slashing Medicaid dollars and short-staffing facilities by 18 minutes per resident per day.
Our concerns for abuse and neglect continue to grow as Gather News reported that October cuts to Medicaid payments will leave many Florida nursing homes unable to maintain current payroll expenses. Facilities are already short staffed but the Medicare payment to long-term care or rehabilitation facilities will be cut by 11.4 percent and Medicaid will be cut by 6.5 percent. Cuts as substantial as this will force facilities to lay off staff and take away services like housekeeping offered to the residents. Most people who live in these homes can’t take care of themselves, let alone clean their room or wash their sheets.
Amenities and extra comforts given to patients will be few and far between. Things like group therapy or cognitive therapy will be done away with because the staffing is not there. Bed space will be limited at hospitals because they will be forced to keep patients longer since there is no room for them at a long-term care facility, which leaves new patients who are extremely ill with no place to go.
With more demands being made on the few staff that still exists at nursing homes, it is probable that quality care will diminish. It is important to be vigilant about making sure your loved one is not abused or neglected while staying at a nursing home or long-term care facility.
Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Resource Center offers these signs and symptoms to look for:
-Staff fails to prevent malnutrition or dehydration.
-Resident lives in unclean and unsanitary conditions.
-Staff fails to administer proper doses of medications or assist in personal hygiene.
-Resident develops infections or bed sores.
-Witness staff assaulting, pushing, grabbing or shaking a patient or restraining the resident unreasonably.
-Notice signs of sexual assault or battery.
-Awareness of a developed condition or bruising that the staff doesn’t acknowledge or seem concerned about.
-Resident is withdrawn, agitated or exhibiting strange behavior like rocking or biting.
-An inexplicable illness or injury occurs that requires immediate hospitalization.
-Resident is highly sedated with no explanation given to the family.
Family members need to ensure their loved one’s don’t become victims of neglect or violence in the place they should feel the safest.
Contact the nursing home abuse attorneys at Freeman, Mallard, Sharp & Gonzalez, LLC if you suspect abuse in a Broward County nursing home or long-term care facility. Help protect the rights of your loved one by calling for a free appointment with an experienced attorney at 1-800-561-7777.
The Effects of New Florida Nursing Home Cuts, by CeLeste Christopher, Gather News.
More Blog Entries:
Abuse and Neglect a Concern at Fort-Profit Nursing Homes in Fort Lauderdale, Elsewhere, South Florida Injury Lawyers Blog, August 28, 2011.
State Loosens Regulations on Nursing Home Industry, Which Could Lead to More Cases of Elder Abuse and Neglect in West Palm Beach, Elsewhere, South Florida Injury Lawyers Blog, May 19, 2011.