Florida Governor Rick Scott recently announced measures to protect the state’s elderly population during emergencies after national outrage over the deaths of nine residents of a nursing home that lost power after Hurricane Irma. According to an NBC News report, the Scott administration issued emergency rules mandating all nursing homes and assisted living facilities in the state to buy ample resources including a generator and fuel to maintain operations and comfortable temperatures for at least 96 hours after a power outage. Nursing home rules and regulations are enacted for very good reasons, but the unfortunate truth is that they are often neglected. A neglect of the rules and regulations, and disregard for the residents can often times lead to a nursing home abuse lawsuit.
Tragic Deaths of Residents
The rules also require each facility to have the generators inspected and an emergency plan approved by the government. Officials said the executive action brings Florida’s elderly care facilities up to the same standards as hospitals across the state and will remain in place for 90 days while the state continues to recover from the devastating storm, which left nearly a million people without power.
The residents of a Floridian nursing home endured sweltering conditions after Hurricane Irma knocked out electricity and nine residents died due to hot conditions. However, administrators at the nursing home have said they did their due diligence to keep their residents safe. Elderly care facilities in Florida have 60 days to comply with the new rules or face penalties of up to $1,000 a day and possibly have their license revoked for non-compliance.
What Other Nursing Home Regulations Are At Question?
Arbitration agreements essentially work in favor of nursing homes and assisted living facilities, and against individuals who have suffered losses as a result of nursing home negligence or wrongdoing. If these rules are reversed, nursing home residents will be required to sign agreements during admission, in which they agree to go to arbitration instead of filing a civil lawsuit, even in cases of abuse and neglect.
This proposed reduction of nursing home residents’ rights flies in the face of the ongoing neglect and abuse of residents who live in long-term care facilities. According to recent reports, 25 percent of serious nursing home abuse incidents are not reported to the police. Shockingly, all of these incidents involved injuries so severe that they required emergency room treatment. Considering these facts, and the fact that nursing home residents are increasingly threatened by natural disasters, it is important that our laws protect our vulnerable senior citizen population rather than hurt them.
Call Us For Help Today!
If your loved one has been neglected or abused in a long-term care facility, it is important to understand that you have legal rights and options. The personal injury law firm of d’Oliveira & Associates is working with nursing home abuse lawyers who are fighting hard to protect the rights of residents and their families. Call us toll-free at 1-800-992-6878 or fill out a contact form online to schedule a free (no-obligation) consultation and comprehensive case evaluation.