This year, there will be up to half a million allegations of nursing home abuse in Florida and nationally, and an unknown number of claims will go unreported.
In Florida, state inspectors have the power to shut down a nursing home or elder care facility that receives too many complaints.
That happened recently to an assisted living facility in Boynton Beach, which is being forced to close its doors at the end of May.
This is from WPBF/Channel 25:
The Florida Agency for Health Care Administration said the facility lost track of two patients who wandered away and did not do enough to prevent an incident where a man with schizophrenia was able to forcibly rape another patient who suffered from dementia.
Dozens of patients will be transferred to another facility.
Six Important Numbers Regarding Nursing Home Abuse
- 39.6 million. The number of adults over 65 years old in the U.S.
- 1.4 million. The number of people residing in U.S. nursing homes.
- 1 in 14. The ratio of incidents of elder abuse reported to authorities.
- 90 percent. The percentage of U.S. nursing homes with staffing levels too low to provide adequate care.
- 1 in 3. The number of nursing homes that will be cited for patient abuse or neglect this year.
- 11 percent. The percentage of adults over the age of 65 who have suffered some form of abuse, exploitation or neglect at the hands of a caregiver.
Family members can reduce the chance that a loved one will become a victim of Florida nursing home abuse by visiting regularly and keeping close tabs on the facility.
Warning signs of abuse and neglect include visible cuts or bruises, bedsores, sudden weight gain or weight loss, torn clothing, missing money or property, complaints of mistreatment, extreme agitation, poor hygiene, and a pale or unhealthy skin color.
Another smart move – especially if you live a distance from the facility – is to hire a geriatric care manager to check in on your loved one periodically.
Contact a qualified Florida nursing home abuse attorney with legal questions.