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What to Do if You Suspect Nursing Home or Caregiver Abuse

What to Do if You Suspect Nursing Home or Caregiver Abuse

Placing your loved one in the care of a nursing home or caregiver is a difficult decision. It’s hard to trust a facility or service with the safe care of your loved one. One concern when using a nursing home or caregiver is abuse. How do you know if your loved one is suffering from abuse or neglect? What can you do about it? Keep reading to learn what to do if you suspect nursing home or caregiver abuse. Identify the Abuse Senior citizen abuse happens in many ways. Not all of them are physical. Look for these signs your loved one is being neglected: Sudden weight loss Bruises or other injuries Refusing help from specific caregivers Not talking Isolation Missing personal belongings These are signs of suspected elder abuse. Address them immediately with your loved one and the facility staff. Stay Calm Unfortunately, elder neglect is a serious problem. Reports say 1 in 60 elder Americans age 60 or older experience a form of abuse. Emotions can run high if you think your loved one is being abused. But it’s important to stay calm when gathering information and pursuing options to resolve the situation. It is critical to your loved one’s safety to stay calm. Talk with them and try finding out what’s wrong. Approach administrative staff with your concerns. Be respectful. Take notes during conversations and keep written communication. Work toward a resolution in a calm way. Report The Abuse If talking with administrative staff doesn’t resolve the situation, you can report elder abuse. Officials are dedicated to managing the level of elder care in your State. Call the National...
Nursing Home Deaths in South Florida Lead to New Rules

Nursing Home Deaths in South Florida Lead to New Rules

Hurricane Irma made landfall in Florida Sept. 10 and devastated the state. The storm caused an estimated $42.5–$65 billion in damages, and some cities were left without power for weeks. Indeed, power outages are a common result of such powerful storms (Irma was the strongest hurricane observed in the Atlantic since 2005). This is dangerous for all residents, but elderly individuals who reside in retirement centers and nursing homes are especially vulnerable. A Fatal Catastrophe in Hollywood, Florida These facilities are required to have certain equipment and supplies in the event of a power outage. These include a generator, food, water, and adequate staff support to care for all residents for up to 72 hours without electricity. Unfortunately, the minimum generators required are only strong enough to power a few systems. For the residents of the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills in Hollywood, Florida, this fact became a worst-case scenario. Hurricane Irma caused a power outage at this facility, which then lacked sufficient energy to run the air conditioning throughout the building. This led to the deaths of eight residents due to lethally high temperatures. In response to this disaster, Governor Rick Scott announced a series of new rules Sept. 16, 2017, requiring that Florida nursing homes and assisted living communities have generators that can maintain comfortable temperatures for residents for at least 96 hours if the power goes out. Florida’s New Power Laws There are also proposed federal laws in direct response to the fatal events in Hollywood. Here’s an overview of requirements in the new emergency plan proposed by the Agency for Health Care Administration: Facilities must have the...
Tragedy Faced in Nursing Home After Hurricane Irma

Tragedy Faced in Nursing Home After Hurricane Irma

In times of crisis, reliable nursing home care is more crucial than ever. With residents already in need of living assistance, natural disasters only intensify reliance on their caretakers. In the wake of Hurricane Irma, a nursing home tragedy occurred. Although the storm weakened and lessened the damage, the lack of electricity after caused the usual Florida heat to be that much more intensified. Eight Hollywood nursing home residents died after Irma left the building without air conditioning and in sweltering heat. It is devastating to think of the oven-like conditions that the residents had to endure after the severe storm hit Florida. Nursing homes & Adult Living Facilities (ALFs) are legally responsible for the safety of their patients and residents have certain rights and protections to ensure that suitable care and services are provided to them. As South Florida natives, we are no stranger to hurricanes and the subsequent preparations pre- and post-storm. Nursing homes need to have a system in place that ensures all staff and residents will be safe during the storm. Having a working plan to keep residents and patients safe is a requirement for Florida’s licensed health care facilities such as nursing homes, assisted living facilities and hospices. State law requires the facilities’ management plan to include: Risk assessment and planning Policies and procedures Communication plan Training and testing Plans should include things like how people will be evacuated in the case of emergency, plans for food and water, establishing who is in charge during an emergency, etc. It can be emotionally painful and difficult to place a loved one in a nursing home but once...

How to Select a Nursing Home

For many, the process of selecting a nursing home for a loved one can seem overwhelming. We are all familiar with reports in which individuals have suffered abuse at the hands of the staff at their nursing home. This concern can be made worse if your loved one is no longer able to communicate. To alleviate the stress this decision can cause, it’s helpful to thoroughly research nursing homes that meet the required criteria. The first step to selecting the right nursing home for your loved one is identifying the type of care they need. Nursing homes vary based on the level of care (among other things). Does your loved one required full, round-the-clock medical care, or just help dressing and bathing? This question will determine whether you need a facility that offers hospital-level care or just assistance. Once you’ve determined the level of care required, the next step is proximity. Ideally, the close4r to you the facility the better, since that will make regular visits much easier. However, keep in mind that it is more important to find the right fit for your loved one than just a home that is close by; your loved one will thank you in the end. Now that you know the facilities that are around you, narrow them down by identifying other criteria that may be important to you, such as religious affiliation, certifications, and payment terms or insurance accepted. Now that you have narrowed down a list of nursing homes that you feel may be a good fit, you’ll need to do the leg work and visit the facilities. This is...

Nursing Home Abuse

Millions of elders living in nursing homes are victims of abuse every year and are not even aware of it. Elder abuse in nursing homes can be difficult to detect and it is not uncommon for cases to go unreported. Though many elderly residents in nursing homes are treated well and cared for in the manner in which they should be, abuse still continues and is much more prevalent that people wish to believe. Nursing home abuse is something that should definitely be of concern; seniors who have been abused have a 300% greater chance of death in the 3 years following the abuse than those who are not abused. Statistics show that nearly 1 in 6 nursing home residents are the victims of abuse or neglect every year, and although legislatures in all 50 states have passed anti-elder-abuse laws, nursing home abuse continues to occur. Nursing home abuse can include any of the following: Physical abuse – may be intentional such as hitting or pinching, or it may be due to neglect including overuse of restraints and lack of physical care Psychological abuse – this may be harder to identify, but it includes yelling, criticizing, humiliating or shaming of the patient. Sexual abuse – any unwanted sexual attention or exploitation Financial exploitation – may include taking advantage of access to patient’s financial matters, stealing, or otherwise compromising a patient’s financial status. Neglect – often times may be unintentional and a result of inadequate staffing, but nevertheless it is considered to be abusive. Instances of neglect may include, personal hygiene care not being met, not provided with food, clothing,...