Nursing Home Abuse
Abusing the Elderly is a Violation of Their Rights
In Florida, the number of elderly patients in the care of nursing home is growing at a rapid pace. It is also a growing business for the nursing home industry. Unfortunately, this growth can lead to the neglect and abuse of the elderly. Florida law provides certain rights to the residents of nursing homes.
These rights are contained in Florida Statute 400.022. Some of these rights include:
The rights include the right to receive adequate and appropriate health care and protective and support services. The right to be adequately informed of his or her medical condition and proposed treatment, unless the resident is determined to be unable to provide informed consent under Florida law, or the right to be fully informed in advance of any non-emergency changes in care or treatment that may affect the resident's well-being. The right to have privacy in treatment and in caring for personal needs; to close room doors and to have facility personnel knock before entering the room, except in the case of an emergency or unless medically contraindicated; and to security in storing and using personal possessions.
Privacy of the resident's body shall be maintained during, but not limited to, toileting, bathing, and other activities of personal hygiene, except as needed for resident safety or assistance. For a complete copy of the Statute, please call our office.
WHAT CAN BE DONE TO ENSURE PROPER CARE IS GIVEN
To ensure your loved one or friend is receiving proper care and treatment, it helps to be familiar with the Patient Rights described above. If a suspected violation involves physical abuse or neglect, document the violation with pictures if possible. While this may be difficult to do, it will help ensure that the nursing home will not be able to avoid its responsibilities. If an injury occurs to a nursing home resident, do your best to document the circumstances surrounding the injury, such as a dangerous conditions that caused the injury. Once again, photographs and witness names are very helpful. If the violation involves a nonphysical violation, document the violation in writing to the best of your ability along with the evidence needed to prove the violation.
USE OF RESTRAINTS
Florida Law states that a nursing home resident has the right to be free from mental and physical abuse, corporal punishment, extended involuntary seclusion, and from physical and chemical restraints, unless authorized in writing by a physician for a specified and limited period of time or as are necessitated by an emergency.
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