Though Florida has the highest population of senior citizens in the nation, it has ranked lowest for access to care and financial assistance, according to the AARP Public Policy Institute Report. The report should signal a warning to families and individuals who are performing long-term care duties for their loved ones. According to the AARP, Florida ranks among the lowest when it comes to providing care for disabled and the elderly who want to continue living independently.
The AARP used a number of measures to rank care among states, including quality of care, quality of life, affordability, support, and options. Except for access to care, Florida ranked in the bottom 10 in every category.
Our Fort Lauderdale nursing home care attorneys are dedicated to providing strategic advocacy and support to individuals and families who have been impacted by negligent nursing home care and abuse. We will initiate an immediate investigation to uncover the facts, identify responsible parties, and aggressively pursue your rights. In addition to providing advocacy for those living in assisted care facilities, we are dedicated to raising awareness to protect the rights of the elderly and their loved ones.
The AARP report is one of many warnings to individuals and families who are currently providing in-home care or seeking out a long-term care or nursing home facility in Florida. According to reports, there are over 2.5 million Florida residents who are either providing care for their elderly loved ones, including transportation, grooming, medical bills, or in providing medical treatment, including administering medication, tending to wounds, or performing injections. This falls under the category of “unpaid care” and amounts to $29 billion in value.
For families who choose not to put their loved one in a home, they are assuming a large share of the financial responsibilities that would normally fall on the state system. Many of these care providers will also be forced to perform full-time jobs, care for small children, and handle other responsibilities while also providing care to their loved ones. Most do this to help keep their aging loved ones outside of nursing homes that may be too costly. Some keep their loved ones out of nursing homes to avoid the potential for abuse and neglect.
The report from the AARP was undertaken with support from The Commonwealth Fund. Now the agency is calling on more funding from the state for elderly care programs. While some state lawmakers have increased funding to support individuals who provide their own care, there are thousands of Florida families still waiting for care and assistance. The report also indicates that over 20% of Florida State and Medicaid funding of home and community care programs are below the national average.
Whether you are providing care for a loved one or seeking out assistance from a nursing home care facility, remember that your rights and interests may be at stake. For-profit care homes are often linked to abuse and neglect. Medicaid patients may be especially at risk of abuse or neglect in nursing home care facilities. In the event that someone you love has been harmed, an experienced advocate can review your case and protect your rights.
Freeman Injury Law — 1-800-561-7777 for a free appointment to discuss your rights.
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Florida Nursing Home Legislation Would Narrow Defendant List, April 1, 2014, Broward Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Blog