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Nursing Home Abuse: See How Florida Ranks

More than 1.5 million Americans today live in nursing homes.

However, our Deerfield Beach nursing home abuse lawyers know that the quality of care that these individuals can expect varies tremendously from state-to-state and facility to facility.
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Now, the Florida-based elder advocacy center, Families for Better Care, has released its first state-by-state review of nursing home care. These grades were based on a host of federally-compiled data, including reports on deficiencies, complaints, inspections and staffing.

In all, 11 states flunked the test. Those included: Texas, Louisiana, Indiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Nevada, Missouri, New York, Michigan, Iowa and Illinois.

Hidden cameras across the country have captured sickening footage in those states, including an assistant shoving a glove into a 96-year-old woman’s mouth and another dementia patient being thrown onto her bed by a staffer.

Brian Lee, executive director of the Florida elder advocacy center, said part of the problem has been that nursing homes have failed to appropriately staff their facilities with good people – or enough of them. Compounding matters is the fact that state agencies often fail to hold nursing homes accountable when problems do arise.

Florida, surprisingly, earned a “B” grade. It ranked 11th overall in the state.

That doesn’t mean Florida was without its problems. On average, each nursing home resident received just 39 minutes of professional nursing care each day. More than 90 percent of facilities were found to have some kind of deficiency, while about 9 percent were found to have severe deficiencies. The state earned a “C” grade when it came to direct staffing, finding it to be adequate just 65 percent of the time.

When it came to the number of nursing hours and nursing staffing levels, the state got an “F” in both categories.

The grades tended to be very poor overall in the South. In addition to those southern states that received an overall “F” grade, Arkansas, Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, Tennessee, Kentucky, Virginia and North Carolina all received “D” grades.

In fact, the Southeastern U.S. ranked the second-lowest in the nation for qualify of nursing home care.

Those states that had the highest “A” grades were: Alaska, New Hampshire, Hawaii, Oregon, Maine, Utah, Idaho, North Dakota and South Dakota.

Families for Better Care determined that the biggest shortfall in most states was facility staffing. Only seven states in the country provided more than 1 hour a day of professional nursing care per patient. Ninety-six percent of states offered patients less than 3 hours each day of direct resident care.

In nearly half of all states, 1 out of 5 nursing homes had been cited for abuse, neglect or mistreatment of residents.

Frighteningly, not a single state received an above-average rating when it came to nursing home health inspections. The median national rating was about 30 percent.

Freeman Injury Law — 1-800-561-7777 for a free appointment to discuss your rights.

Additional Resources:
Nursing Home Report Cards, August 2013, Families for Better Care

More Blog Entries:
Elder Abuse Awareness Month Recognized in July, July 15, 2013, Deerfield Beach Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Blog

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