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Learning How to Recognize Abuse and Neglect Signs in Florida Nursing Homes

The majority of nursing homes attempt to contain expenses by keeping staffing to minimum levels; miscalculations or unexpected shifts in activity sometimes create situations in which staffing is inadequate. Sadly, understaffing can lead to patient neglect. So, while owners of nursing homes are concerned about their profits, patients that live there may be suffering the effects of inadequate staffing.

When nursing homes are understaffed, it can lead to elder abuse in Sarasota. In fact, neglect can be life-threatening as patients are not checked on enough, turned often enough, given food or water regularly, or medicated properly. The truth of the matter is that elderly patients are being mistreated when they are being neglected.

How Can You Tell If a Nursing Home Has an Inadequate Staffing Problem?

Nursing homes in Florida and throughout this nation will probably not tell you that they are understaffed. Indeed, when you are selecting a nursing home for your loved one, nursing homes will make it sound like their facility is fully staffed; however, it may be up to you to notice if the nursing home you are considering or that your loved one is already living in is short staffed.

If nursing home staff members seem overwhelmed, if assistance call bells are continually ringing and going unanswered, if you don’t see anyone checking on your loved one or turning him or her, if clothing and sheets are soiled, and if residents don’t have water available to them, the nursing home may be understaffed.

When a facility doesn’t have enough staff employees for the amount of residents, it is a serious issue that can often lead to nursing home abuse and neglect. Staffing issues have often been the main factor of elder abuse. In facilities where temporary staffing is used, neglect and abuse is more likely to occur because the temporary staff have not established a relationship with the patients, patients’ families, or facility.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced that the primary nursing home abusers were orderlies and nursing home aides.

What Questions Can You Ask to Help Determine If There Is a Potential Concern?

In order to make sure your family member is not being abused or neglected in a Sarasota nursing home, you should ask the nursing home administrator if the staff members have been trained in anger management, caring for patients with dementia, how to recognize abuse, how to report abuse, and if they’ve had extensive abuse education. Staff members should be trained in these areas regularly to lower the risks of nursing home abuse in Florida.

If you believe your loved one is a victim of nursing home abuse, contact the Mallard Law Firm to speak with a skilled Sarasota nursing home abuse attorney in a free consultation today at 888-409-3805. Make sure you also fill out our website form to receive a complimentary copy of our book The Florida Nursing Home Abuse Handbook: Ways to Recognize & Prevent Abuse and Neglect.


Damian Mallard, Esq.
Board Certified Sarasota Personal Injury Attorney