Serious Injuries and Deaths at Assisted Living Facilities on the Rise in Florida and other States
The PBS news program Frontline, working with watchdog group ProPublica, recently broadcast a documentary on the explosive growth of assisted living facilities in the U.S. The program cited an almost total lack of oversight for these facilities and an alarming rise of deaths and injuries of residents living in them. This came as no surprise to Orlando nursing home abuse attorneys. Mr. Cunningham helps injured residents suffering from abuse in nursing homes and assisted living facilities on a regular basis and helps them and their families by aggressively litigating against negligent operators.
The number of assisted living facilities began rising around 20 hears ago as a humane alternative to nursing homes. Today, assisted living facilities are a multi-billion dollar industry that provides housing to more than 750,000 people across the country. Frontline and ProPublica investigators found that an increasing number of people living in assisted living are seriously ill and suffer from dementia and other serious conditions that required round-the-clock care by trained caregivers. The problem is that many states, including Florida, have few regulations for assisted living facilities and/or very lax oversight, which puts residents at heightened risk for serious and fatal injuries that could and should have been avoided with proper training and appropriate care.
Most states have few or no requirements for education or qualifications for workers in these facilities. Unlike nursing homes, assisted living facilities get to determine how many staffers need to be on hand at any given time to care for residents. Although Florida does have some regulations that govern assisted living facilities (available at https://www.flrules.org/gateway/ChapterHome.asp?Chapter=58A-5) state lawmakers have been slow to react to calls for tougher oversight and regulations. In 2011, a Florida task force studying the issue proposed higher standards for licensing and inspecting these facilities, but the measure languished and died in the state legislature.
If you or someone you know is suffering from abuse or neglect at a nursing home or assisted living facility, call the police as soon as possible and make a report. Many abuse victims are unwilling or unable to report abuse and get the help they need. If you would like to speak with an Orlando personal injury lawyer to learn more about abuse victims’ rights, protections under the law and potential legal options, call Mr. Cunningham today at 877-FL-INJURY (877-354-6587) and schedule a free consultation.
James O. Cunningham
Since 1977, personal injury lawyer James Cunningham has provided effective legal advocacy to people who are injured through the negligent actions of another person or entity throughout the Central Florida area. He fights to obtain recoveries for his clients’ physical and emotional pain and suffering and pursues his clients’ personal injury cases with a commitment to excellence and impeccable preparation.