The story is all too familiar. During the height of COVID, an elderly woman died at a nursing home due to dehydration. The woman’s daughter believed that the facility’s staff—too overwhelmed by the circumstances surrounding the pandemic—did not sufficiently provide her with enough water.
Even pre-pandemic, too many families have experienced similar neglect and abuse in nursing homes or long-term care facilities. According to data by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly 72 thousand Florida residents live in more than 685 nursing homes or long-term care facilities, making the state’s nursing facility occupancy rate approximately 88%. Of those facilities, US News & World Report data says that approximately 121 are in the Tampa-St. Petersburg area.
The rise of the Tampa area’s growing senior population is not only causing a significant demand for beds in nursing facilities, assisted-living homes, and rehabilitation centers but also putting a strain on nurses and nurses’ aides available to fill this growing need.
The situation can result in a perfect storm for neglect and abuse cases among the elderly in these facilities. While scores of cases are reported, in too many instances, many incidents are never reported by victims or their families who will not, cannot or do not understand how to seek legal help.
Neglect at a nursing home or long-term facility is the failure to meet an older adult’s basic needs, including areas like food, water, shelter, clothing, hygiene, and essential medical care. The National Center for Victims of Crime reports that 15.3% of elder abuse complaints in nursing homes are for neglect, while the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA) says that roughly 95% of nursing home residents have been neglected or have witnessed neglect.
In most cases, nursing home neglect cases often are a result of inadequate staffing. Stressed, overworked, understaffed or undertrained employees may not be able to provide the quality of care needed to keep their residents healthy. Any combination of the aforementioned factors are likely to lead to mistakes or mishaps in what should be basic duties.
Because both forms of insufficient and inadequate care can be harmful to the physical and mental health of older adults, you and your family have rights. If you or a loved one suffered severe health problems due to neglect caused by a nursing home facility, you can take legal recourse.
The Florin Gray Bouzas Owens LLC (FGBO) team is committed to bringing justice for these actions. With more than 100-plus years of experience, our firm continues to be a trusted ally in the fight for your rights.
Whether it is answering your general questions, filing a claim or walking you through the paperwork and deadlines, our attorneys will work tirelessly on your behalf.
Please contact our office for a free consultation or call us at (727) 254-5255.
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