Under Florida law neglect of an elderly person occurs when a caregiver failures to provide the care, supervision, and services necessary to maintain the elderly person’s physical and mental health. This includes, but is not limited to, food, nutrition, clothing, shelter, supervision, medicine, and medical services that a prudent person would consider essential for their well-being
Neglect can also occur as a result of a caregiver’s failure to make a reasonable effort to protect an elderly person from abuse, neglect, or exploitation by another person. Furthermore, neglect can be based on repeated conduct or on a single incident that results in or could result in serious physical or psychological injury, or a substantial risk of death.
Staffing Level Requirements for Nursing Homes in FL
Safe staffing ratios in nursing homes are vital. In Florida, nursing home staffing requirements are mandated by law. Section 400.23(3)(a)(1) of the Florida Statutes sets the minimum requirements for nursing home staffing. The various levels of care providers include Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs), Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) and Registered Nurses (RNs).
The staffing level requirements for nursing homes in Florida include:
- Certified nursing assistants, registered nurse, or licensed practical nurse should provide a minimum weekly average of 3.6 hours of direct care per resident per day.
- A certified nursing assistant staffing should provide a minimum of 2.5 hours of direct care per resident daily. The minimum staffing level allowed is one certified nursing assistant per 20 residents.
- A registered nurse or licensed practical nurse should provide a minimum of 1.0 hours of direct care per resident daily. The minimum staffing level allowed is one licensed nurse per 40 residents.
Consequences of Low Staffing
Having lower staffing levels can compromise care quality and cause nursing home abuse, neglect, or accidents. Some consequences of low staffing include:
- Inadequate supervision (leading to falls)
- Medication negligence
- Failing to provide medical assistance
- Failure to keep the residence safe (free of hazards)
The nursing home or care facility management may be held liable for incidents of abuse, neglect, or injury.
How Legal Counsel Can Help
The high rate of injuries and abuse experienced by residents of nursing homes and care facilities is quite disturbing. However, proving negligence in a case involving nursing home abuse or neglect can be very complicated. Hiring a knowledgeable attorney, who is familiar with the nuances of state elder abuse law, is crucial and can help you to establish fault and liability.
Since 2004, Attorney Brian M. Hoag has been providing outstanding legal services and compassionate representation to clients throughout Florida in personal injury, nursing home abuse, and neglect-related matters. He will review your case and conduct a thorough investigation. He will fight compassionately to protect the rights of your vulnerable loved ones and help pursue fair financial compensation for their injuries, pain, and suffering.