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According to the Florida Health Care Association, by 2026 the population of Americans ages 65 and older will double to 71.5 million.  Between 2007 and 2015, the number of Americans ages 85 and older is expected to increase by 40%.  Among people turning 65 today, 69% will need some form of long-term care, whether in the community or in a residential care facility. Nursing homes and assisted living facilities (ALF’s) are increasingly relied upon to handle the long term care needs of the aging population.

It is usually a very difficult decision to place a parent or grandparent in a residential care facility.  Families who make this decision do so with faith that the facility will care for their loved one just as the family would care for their loved one.  Unfortunately, this is many times not the case.  While there are plenty of nursing homes that provide thorough and loving care to our elders, the incidence of neglect and abuse is all too common in other nursing homes and ALF’s.

Florida law specifically provides certain resident rights to residents of nursing homes.  They include, among others:

The right to be treated fairly and with respect and dignity.
– The right to be free of abuse, both mentally and physically.
The right to receive adequate health care and protective services.
– The right to confidentiality in treatment and personal care.
– The right to retain and use personal items, such as clothing and possessions, as space permits, as long as it does not affect the rights of other residents.
– The right to manage his or her own finances.  If the patient gives the facility written responsibility to manage their finances, the resident has the right to a quarterly account of financial transactions made on their behalf.
– The right to have established visiting hours.
– The right to private communication, including the ability to send and receive personal mail without censorship.
– The right of access to telephones, both for making and receiving confidential calls.
– The right to view results of recent nursing home inspections, including the facility’s plan of correction if applicable.

Warning signs of nursing home neglect or abuse include falls, unexplained cuts or bruises, broken bones, bed sores, malnutrition, and changes in the resident’s emotional status, such as withdrawal or agitation.

Darrin M. Phillips has been protecting the rights of nursing home residents in Naples and Southwest Florida for over 20 years.  He is skilled in analyzing the many complex factors in your case and developing the proper theories of liability given your unique set of facts.  He also has many years of expertise in dealing with the insurance companies and defense attorneys who will try to defend or deny your claim, and is prepared to take every step necessary to get you the recovery that you’re entitled to under the law, including presenting your case to a jury if necessary.

If you believe that a loved one may be the victim of nursing home neglect or abuse, call Darrin M. Phillips for a free consultation about your case.  If we accept your case, you pay us no fee unless we win.

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