Florida has the highest percentage of seniors in the entire country. By the year 2030, Florida is expected to see a 25 percent increase in the number of seniors living in the Sunshine State. Unfortunately, nursing home abuse in Florida occurs at a high rate as well. According to Florida statistics, one in 10 elders is abused by caregivers here. Shockingly, however, less than 5 percent of these cases are ever reported.
In the state of Florida, anyone who suspects that an incidence of nursing home abuse or neglect has occurred is asked to immediately report this suspicion to local authorities. After all, the Florida Department of Children and Families and numerous other elder care agencies rely on these reports to keep elderly patients and seniors safe.
Florida Nursing Home Abuses Uncovered
In the past years, investigative teams have documented “atrocities” at some Florida nursing homes. They found that even in the event of a death in a Florida nursing home, regulators do not always follow through. According to these investigations, the blame lies with AHCA—the Florida Agency for Healthcare Administration. And while the agency’s goal is compliance rather than punishment, it appears many nursing homes in the Sunshine State are not complying.
Over a period of five years, a staggering 7,200 violations were found in 54 of the state’s worst nursing homes. There were 191 deaths in those homes, many due to abuse or neglect. And while those deaths are certainly significant, the investigative team found many other offenses extremely hard to stomach—like gangrenous genitals due to lack of bathing for one resident. In fact, the investigative team found enough cases to warrant closing down a significant number of those 54 nursing home facilities, yet only two have been shut down since 2013. In 2017 Hollywood Hills nursing home was closed after twelve elderly residents died from extreme heat exposure following Hurricane Irma.
How to Report Suspected Nursing Home Abuse
If you believe that your loved one has been a victim of nursing home abuse or neglect, it is important to report this suspicion to the proper authorities, as well as to the management of the nursing home.
- Document the suspected abuse carefully.
- Take photos, write down the names of anyone involved, include contact information for any eyewitnesses
- Make notes regarding the incident and nature of the abuse.
You can file your complaint with Florida Agency for Healthcare Administration by calling (888) 419-3456 of filling out an online form at FloridaHealthFinder.gov. If you suspect your loved one is in immediate danger, you can report the abuse to the Florida Department of Elder Affairs, a department of Children and Families, by calling their toll-free hotline at 1-800-96-ABUSE. You can also call 911 to alert the authorities to your situation and get your loved one emergency medical help.
- Elder Helpline: 1-800-963-5337
- Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program call 1-888-831-0404
- Statewide Senior Legal Helpline: 1-888-895-7873
Contact Our Tampa Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers Today
If you believe that your loved one has been a victim of nursing home abuse in Florida, your next call should be to an experienced nursing home abuse attorney. It is important to report this abuse immediately, so that you can begin to prevent further abuse from occurring. At Armando Personal Injury Law, our Tampa nursing home abuse lawyers know that this is a difficult time for you and your family. That’s why we offer complete and compassionate legal assistance every step of the way.
Contact Armando Personal Injury Law at (813) 538-1589 or fill out our confidential contact form. We have offices in Tampa, Fort Lauderdale, and Lakeland, Florida to better serve you and your loved ones.