Florida is home to a large number of senior citizens due to its popularity as one of the best states to live out one’s retirement years. Consequently, there are many nursing homes throughout the state.
Long-term care facilities and nursing homes come under the auspices of the Agency for Health Care Administration regarding licensing. Facilities have to maintain specific minimum standards for their construction, maintenance, fire protection, safety and financial stability.
However, residents and their families should not exclusively rely on licensing and certification standards when determining the quality of care. Remember, these are just the minimum standards and may still leave a lot of room for improvement. Below are some tips to keep in mind when selecting a nursing home, and while monitoring its ongoing suitability.
- The facility should meet the changing needs of its residents. For instance, an assisted living facility where residents can come and go at will would no longer be suitable for a resident who develops dementia and begins to wander.
- Does the facility offer the proper level of care for seriously ill and/or disabled residents? Bed-bound patients are subject to developing bedsores and urinary tract infections if they aren’t repositioned regularly and have frequent cleansing and maintenance of their indwelling catheters.
- Who sets the medical policies and procedures and responds to emergencies? Is their a staff physician and registered nurse on staff to take emergency calls?
- Must residents be treated by the staff physician, or are personal physicians not just tolerated but welcomed?
- Do residents have access to meaningful activities geared toward their cognitive and physical limitations, or are they shut up in their rooms most of the time?
- If a resident is injured in a fall or other mishap, are rehabilitative services and physical therapies offered to help them regain mobility?
All of the above are important factors to consider. If you feel that a loved one has been injured due to nursing home neglect, you may wish to review your legal options in the matter.
Source: Florida Justice Institute, Inc, “Older Floridians Handbook,” accessed Nov. 24, 2015