Recent years have seen dramatic reforms to nursing home standards of care in Florida. Due to the nature of nursing home care — specifically the vulnerable population, high demand on staff and heavy dependence on government funding — Florida’s nursing homes are under constant scrutiny from regulatory bodies to improve conditions for residents. In selecting a long-term care facility for a loved one, consider these factors:
- Quality of care – does the facility provide the highest quality of life possible for its residents? Is there programing and entertainment?
- Protection and advocacy – are patients protected from abuse and neglect? If a patient has a complaint, is there a mechanism for hearing and addressing it?
- Comfort – is the facility clean? Are the beds reasonably comfortable? Is there natural light and fresh air?
- Adequate staff – are there enough nurses to provide sufficient individualized care?
- Nutrition – Is the food edible? Is the diet balanced, nutritious and appealing? Can the facility accommodate individual dietary restrictions?
- Infection risk – is the environment sufficiently sterile?
- Medical services – are physicians attentive to the residents’ needs?
- Dental and other supplementary care – are services available when residents need them?
- Assessment – is there a system for assessing the needs of the residents and an organized plan for meeting them?
- Regulatory Compliance – does the facility comply with both federal and Florida standards and requirements? Is this on public record?
In addition to the federal standards, over the last 10 years Florida has added its own regulations including nursing background checks, incentive awards for exemplary care and increased sanctions for inadequate care. If you suspect your loved one is suffering abuse, neglect or exploitation in a nursing home, contact an elder abuse attorney. Call the Palm Harbor Law Office of Paul B. Genet, P.A. at 727-538-8865 or contact us online.