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 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 under trained 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.
Some of the most common types of nursing home abuse are:
- Emotional abuse
- Financial exploitation
- Neglect of a resident’s basic needs
- Physical abuse
- Sexual assault
Examples of nursing home neglect include:
- Leaving a resident with mobility issues in a room for hours at a time
- Not calling a doctor or nurse when needed
- Not changing a resident’s clothes or bedding regularly
- Not cleaning a resident on a daily basis
- Not giving residents enough food or water
- Not treating a resident’s injuries or illnesses (bedsores, infections, etc.)
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.
With more than 56 years of experience, our legal team at Trentalange & Kelley P.A. is committed to making your case personal. From negotiating with insurance companies to aggressively representing your rights, our personal injury lawyers are dedicated to giving you the advantages you need. Call the Trentalange & Kelley P.A. team to get the peace of mind you need at 813-226-1080. Get a free consultation today.