7 Nursing Home Statistics Every Florida Family Should Know
We hope that you and your family and friends had a safe and happy Easter holiday! Easter is a time when many relatives gather together to celebrate. As with any holiday, those families with elderly members in nursing homes may have visited them or brought them home for a temporary visit. With COVID-19, which has disproportionately affected the senior community, visiting relatives and checking them out for temporary home visits has been much more difficult to navigate; families may be concerned about their elderly loved ones contracting Covid, but there are other things that families with vulnerable relatives in nursing homes need to be on the lookout for and be cautious about in addition to this virus.
Here are 6 nursing home statistics every Florida family should know about!
(1) Florida nursing homes were ranked 51 out of 51 locations (the 50 states and Washington, D.C.,) according to AARP’s latest long-term care and senior support services scorecard.
AARP’s scorecard included categories such as affordability and access, choice of setting and provider, quality of life and care, support for family caregivers, and effective transitions. Florida’s data and ranking is troubling, as it means that our state’s nursing homes scored lowest overall. Not all nursing homes in Florida deserve this ranking, but it is a general representation of the situation. If you live in Florida and have a relative in a nursing home, you should not necessarily assume that your loved one is receiving the highest quality care possible.
(2) Research indicates that as many as 95% of nursing facilities in the US are understaffed, and 28% of nursing homes have had direct care staffing shortages each month since June 2020.
One of the factors negatively affecting Florida’ ranking could be an understaffing problem, which has worsened because of Covid. State data in 2021 showed that 92% of long-term care facilities in the state are having significant staffing issues and that 50% of those facilities were reducing admissions as a result. If your loved one is in a Florida nursing home, there’s a high chance that their facility doesn’t have the staff necessary to offer the highest quality level of care for all of the residents.
(3) Florida’s law requires the nation’s highest level of direct-care hours in nursing homes, 3.6 per resident per day, which is much higher than the national median of 2.5.
According to Florida law, which was recently amended in an April bill passed by Governor Ron DeSantis, nursing home residents have a legal right to receive 3.6 hours of direct, personal care per day from certified nursing assistants (CNAs), licensed nurses, occupational therapists, physical therapists, mental health therapists, respiratory therapists, and other professionals. If you have an elderly loved one being cared for in a Florida nursing home, they are supposed to be getting this level of care; if they are not, their nursing home is not complying with the law.
(4) More than 40% of nursing home residents have reported abuse, and more than 90% of nursing home residents have reported that they or another resident of the facility has been neglected.
Because the Florida nursing home staffing shortage is a real problem, the staff in place is not able to keep up with all of the patients, an issue which results in the widespread neglect and abuse of vulnerable seniors who rely on nursing home staff for care. 9 in 10 residents say that they have personally been neglected or know someone else in their nursing home who has, and 4 in 10 residents have said that they have been victimized by verbal, physical, or sexual abuse in a nursing home.
(5) 50% of all nursing home attendants and CNAs have admitted abusing or neglecting elderly patients.
If you had doubts that the statistics above may be skewed because they are self-reported from elderly patients who may not understand or may overreact, this statistic comes directly from staff – 5 in 10 nursing home staff members have admitted themselves that they have abused or neglected their patients. Neglect and abuse can vary widely, but include things like yelling and swearing at residents, isolating residents without cause, denying food privileges or failing to feed residents on time, failing to hydrate residents properly, not cleaning residents or their living quarters, not turning immobile residents so they don’t develop bedsores, pushing/shoving/grabbing residents, and more. If your loved one is in a nursing home, they are at risk of being abused or neglected, though any form of abuse and neglect is unacceptable and illegal.
(6) It’s estimated that 1 in 5 ER visits from a nursing home may be the result of abuse.
The consequences of nursing home abuse and neglect are serious. Your loved one could end up in an emergency room if nursing home staff hurt them or neglect them, which is both scary for your entire family and extremely expensive in terms of medical costs.
(7) Between 2013 – 2017, the Florida Department of Children and Families revealed that 54 nursing home deaths were due to nursing home neglect or mistreatment. In at least 25 of those cases, the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration had previously cited the nursing homes responsible for similar problems.
Because elderly nursing home residents are so vulnerable, instances of abuse and neglect can cause wrongful death. However, the frustrating and tragic fact is that many nursing homes who are abusing and neglecting patients are known to be doing so, and are not receiving enough accountability by state agencies.
If you have a loved one who is in a nursing home and you suspect they have been a victim of neglect or abuse, The Florida Law Group can hold the responsible party accountable and fight for justice for your family.
We understand the emotions and complexities of having a loved one in a nursing home, and know that families often feel guilt over not being able to take care of their loved ones in their homes; that guilt is compounded when abuse or neglect happens, but it is not the fault of the families. If you entrusted your elderly loved one to a Florida nursing home and they were a victim of abuse or neglect, call experienced and compassionate Florida nursing home lawyers! We can help you understand your legal options, advocate for justice, and recover the compensation your loved one deserves for their pain and suffering. We have over 100 years of combined experience on our team and 11 locations around the state to make getting access to quality legal representation easier. You will never have to pay for our legal services unless we win your claim. Call now for a free consultation!