It is not uncommon for older people in Florida to live in a nursing home when that becomes the best option for their health care. Unfortunately, nursing home abuse happens all too often to elderly residents who may not have the ability to communicate what is happening to them. Yet, there are ways that a family can reduce the likelihood of abuse happening to their loved one. This is evident after a report from out of state concluded that nursing home facilities with low ratings from Medicare also had the highest number of health-related citations.

The report was generated by the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid. It compiled data after conducting inspections of nursing home facilities. The report revealed that two nursing homes had a high number of fines for patient injuries with 74 citations apiece. USCMM ranked both facilities as being “much below average.” Other facilities with a high number of citations also fell into that same category.

Several specific incidents outlined how patients suffered harm at the hands of nursing home employees, Sometimes this was due to improper care and other times it was because of what appeared to be deliberate abuse. One resident reported that she was forcefully told to stay quiet about alleged abuse she witnessed perpetrated on her roommate. Many of the facilities now stand accused of failing to adequately protect their residents.

The families of nursing home residents trust that the workers at the facility will provide compassionate and comprehensive care to their loved ones. Though this report seems grim, it offers a valuable lesson for Florida families. It is imperative that people create an estate plan that outlines precisely what kind of end-of-life care they would like to receive. This may include provisions for nursing home care. Working with an estate planning attorney may be one of the most effective ways to combat nursing home abuse.