Should There Be A Nursing Home Bill Of Rights?

I help a lot of Senior citizens and their families find placement in Assisted Living Facilities and Nursing Homes.  I make it my business to know about the quality of care in the facilities in my community.  This is part of my job.  But most families have no idea how to obtain reliable information about nursing homes and often make regrettable decisions.

Most of us have heard about the 12 nursing home residents that died from heat and neglect in a South Florida nursing home after Hurricane Irma.  But lesser known examples of nursing home neglect abound throughout the State of Florida, a state with over 70,000 nursing home residents.

Last February, an Orlando nursing home sent 9 of its residents on an outing to a supermarket with only one assistant to supervise.  All of the residents needed round the clock care and five of them were in wheelchairs.  The story ends with all of the residents suffering from neglect and one falling and breaking his hip.  The facility was fined for this and for other actions, including failing to provide kidney dialysis to another resident.

The Trump administration is pushing to soften fines against the nursing home industry.  And the State of Florida has begun making nursing home inspection reports less transparent to the public.  State law requires these facilities to carry liability insurance, but not at specific levels.  Many nursing home resident advocates say that residents in nursing homes have far fewer rights than someone living outside one.

All of this has prompted a proposal to revise the Florida Constitution to include a Nursing Home Bill of Rights.  It is Proposal 88, and if approved by the state’s Constitution Revision Committee, after a series of public hearings, it will go before voters in November.  The proposal is being opposed by the Florida Health Care Association, which represents the nursing home industry.

To learn more about this proposal or for information on attendant at the public hearings, visit: Nursing Home Bill of Rights

The Law Office of Debra G. Simms will be glad to assist you with your elder care and estate planning questions. Call us today at (386) 256-4882.



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