New Nursing Home Directory Has Flagged 25 Florida Facilities for Abuse and Neglect of Patients
Nursing home abuse is frightening, most of all because vulnerable patients often cannot speak up about it. Therefore, family members might remain unaware for years of the abuse and neglect that their loved ones are enduring. Sometimes it takes a disastrous event, like a MRSA infection spreading through a nursing home because of substandard infection control practices, before family members think to ask questions. Your best protection against nursing home abuse and neglect is through working with an elder law attorney. Medical malpractice lawsuits related to breaches of the standard of care in nursing homes are an option for victims of nursing home neglect and their families, but a nursing home planning attorney can also help you make detailed plans while you are healthy so that you can express your wishes about nursing home care long before you ever need it.
Nursing Home Compare Flags 25 Florida Nursing Homes for Recent Violations
The Nursing Home Compare website, operated by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid service, lists nursing homes around the United states and assigns each one a rating; five stars is the highest possible rating. Facilities that have been cited for violations, including patient deaths and serious injuries as a result of errors by nursing home employees, within the past year get a “warning” icon next to their listings. The site lists 697 nursing home facilities in Florida, of which 25 bear the warning icon.
The warning icons stay on the site for 12 months. Representatives of the nursing homes flagged with warning icons have complained for several reasons. First, they consider it inappropriate for a government agency to assign ratings the way a consumer review site would. Second, the same warning icon appears for all types of violations, whether a patient died from neglect or whether the nursing home was simply understaffed at the time of the past year’s inspection. For example, Lakeside Pavilion in Naples got a warning icon because its staff failed to perform CPR on a patient, even though the patient did not have a Do Not Resuscitate order. Meanwhile, at ManorCare in Fort Myers, a patient died after nursing home staff continued to give her food by mouth despite that she could not swallow; the standard of care dictates that she should have parenteral nutrition.
How to Protect Yourself
Nursing home planning involves asking yourself important questions about your future care. You can choose a nursing home where you would want to receive treatment if you need it. You can also decide that nursing homes would be a last resort for you and make other plans for your care, such as in-home nursing care. You can also designate a family member or other trusted person to make decisions about your nursing home care if you become too ill to decide for yourself.
Contact an Attorney Today for Help
An elder law attorney can help you start thinking now about financial and medical decisions related to nursing home care that you might need in the future. Contact Clearwater nursing home planning attorney William Rambaum in Oldsmar, Florida to discuss your questions.