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State Eyes Palm Beach County for New Veterans’ Nursing Home

Palm Beach County is on the short list of counties that Florida officials are considering for the construction of new nursing homes to meet the needs of the state’s aging veterans.

Governor Rick Scott’s 2014 budget proposals include more than $1.5 million toward laying the groundwork for the construction of two new nursing homes by the Florida Department of Veterans’ Affairs.

Our West Palm Beach nursing home abuse attorneys are experienced representing patients victimized by neglect and inadequate care.

Palm Beach County was identified as one of the five areas in the state in greatest need of a new veterans’ nursing home in an independent study of how the Florida VA can best meet the needs the state’s 1.5 million veterans.

The study identified the area of Collier and Lee counties as having the greatest need for a nursing home for veterans. The area including Hillsborough, Manatee and Polk Counties had the second-highest need, followed by the area of Marion, Putnam and Sumter Counties. Palm Beach County ranked fifth, after St. Lucie County.

The state will ask each of the 10 counties identified in the study to provide information identifying potential locations for new nursing homes.

Florida VA Executive Director Mike Prendergast presented the study to the governor in a recent cabinet meeting held in Tampa.

“The recently completed report shows there is a high need for a state veterans’ nursing home in three different areas of the state,” said Prendergast.

The state’s veterans’ nursing homes currently have an occupancy rate of 99 percent. The state currently operates nursing homes in Daytona Beach, Land O’ Lakes, Panama City, Pembroke Pines, Port Charlotte and St. Augustine. The Florida VA also has a veterans’ assisted living facility in Lake City.

Governor Scott’s “It’s Your Money Tax Cut Budget” recommendation for the Florida VA includes $1.5 million for site surveys and preliminary architectural costs. The state legislature’s approval of the seed money would make the Florida VA eligible for federal grants.

The actual planning and construction of new veterans’ homes would take a number of years and depend on additional federal and state matching funds.

The Florida VA serves the nation’s third largest veterans’ population.

While it may be inconceivable, veterans who have faithfully served our country often experience abuse and neglect. According to the National Center on Elder Abuse, the most common forms of elder abuse include:

* Physical Abuse, which involves the infliction of physical pain or injury

* Emotional Abuse, which typically involves the verbal infliction of mental pain, anguish or distress

* Sexual Abuse

* Financial exploitation in the form of the illegal taking or misuse of money, property, or other assets

* Neglect relating to the failure to food, shelter or medical treatment

* Abandonment

Some specific examples of nursing home injuries include falls, bed sores and sepsis infections. Anyone who suspects that a loved one has suffered abuse or neglect should contact an experienced nursing home abuse attorney and discuss their legal options.

If you have been injured, contact Freeman Injury Law at 800.561.7777.

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