How Do Florida Nursing Homes Measure Up?

Senior WalkingFort Meyers. FL- Eighteen percent of the elderly population of the U.S. lives in Florida. There are close to 700 nursing homes in the state with over 80,000 beds. With a large aging population many Florida residents are faced with the prospect of putting their elderly loved one in a long term care facility so people need to know how nursing homes in the states measure up.

Florida nursing homes were recently evaluated by a non-profit agency which advocates for residents of long –term care facilities and was ranked number one out the southeastern states. Out of the fifty states, facilities in Florida ranked 11th, which means nursing home residents in the state typically receive quality care.

The survey, conducted by Families for Better Care, found that less than 10 percent of Florida facilities had been cited for a sever deficiency which are defined as events that cause immediate jeopardy or actual harm and resulted in resident injury, abuse, neglect, or death. But 92 percent were cited for minor deficiencies.

Staffing is a common issue on long-term care facilities and having enough staff is essential in prevent neglect and abuse. It could mean the difference between injury and death to a senior or disabled person who relies on others for their fundamental needs. While some states have an excellent patient-to-caregiver ratios, Florida was ranked above average but still failed to provide adequate professional nursing care.

Families for Better Care gave facilities in the state a “B” grade reporting that nursing home residents in the state received 2.38 hours a day of direct care from staff members. That is well above the national average of one hour of daily care for each patient, but far less than is necessary to prevent abuse or neglect.

Families for Better Care however gave the state low marks for the  received a mediocre ranking when it came to direct cares from registered nurse staffing; nursing homes in the state provided each patient with only 38 minutes of professional nursing care on a daily basis.

While Florida facilities have more staff than other states abuse and neglect is still an issue some residents must contend with.

Neglect is more prevalent and can happen at any facility whether they are well staffed or not. A national survey from the National Center on Elder abuse found that at least 50 percent of nursing home staff admitted that they neglected a patient at least once in the past year.

Neglect can take many forms and can have adverse effects on a patient’s physical and mental well-being. Typical neglect includes: failing to provide proper nutrition, inadequate hygiene such a neglecting to bathe or properly clean a patient, not moving a bed-ridden patient often enough to avoid bedsores and failing to change soiled or dirty bed linens.

These simple negligent practices can create very unhealthy living conditions for the elderly and can cause them to develop a host of health problems ranging from bedsores, respiratory problems to bedsores. Left unchecked, health conditions can cause the untimely death of a patient.

Any person who suspects neglect or abuse in a long-term care facility should alert administrators and then contact a Florida nursing home abuse attorney to see if you have grounds to file a civil suit.