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Nursing Home Abuse in the Face of COVID-19

Assisted living centers and nursing home facilities are there to care for those who most need it. As a consequence of COVID-19, these facilities had to double-down on resident safety. Unfortunately, this made nursing home abuse and suffering characteristic of nursing home stays.

If you or a loved one have experienced nursing home abuse, you deserve legal help. Call the nursing home abuse attorneys of Brooks Law Group today at 1-800-LAW-3030. We’ll set up a free consultation and let you know your options.

What Is Nursing Home Abuse?

Elder abuse is the physical, sexual, or psychological abuse of an older person. It can also include neglect, abandonment, and financial exploitation. Elder abuse occurs in any setting. It can happen in a relationship where there’s an expectation of trust. Sometimes it occurs when an older person is targeted based on age or disability. This is all according to the Department of Justice in The Elder Justice Roadmap. When elder abuse takes place in a nursing home or similar facility, we call it nursing home abuse. There are certain steps you can take if you believe a loved one is being abused.

How Has COVID-19 Affected Florida Nursing Homes?

In Florida, over 15 nursing home facilities became hotspots for COVID-19. This number fluctuates, of course. But it’s clear that nursing homes have failed to keep the virus at bay, especially in Florida. Even now, Florida continues to break its own transmission records. Florida broke its single-day positive case record, with 15,300 new cases in a single day, at the end of August. It’s safe to say that Florida is by no means safe from the virus.

What’s so concerning is that the elderly (who live in such homes) are at a higher risk for fatal infection. The risk increases even more if they have pre-existing medical conditions. It’s especially scary when you consider the large population of Floridians that are age 65+. This large demographic makes up the population of nursing home residents. They’re the ones most likely to die from COVID-19. Now they’re also more likely to get insufficient care from healthcare workers.

How Has Nursing Home Abuse Increased in 2020?

Nursing homes are notoriously understaffed. This is a practical issue that extends beyond state lines. It’s led to an unsettling number of deaths and a rampant issue of neglect. Across the US, nursing home residents have suffered from declining care throughout 2020. It’s shocking, but only about 1 in 14 of nursing home abuse cases are ever reported. The statistics for elder abuse and neglect are in the millions.

Assisted living facilities and elder care organizations are mostly beneficial. We have to admit that they serve a major purpose in the states today. But that does not exclude them from failing to provide the correct level of care. With the onset of Coronavirus these issues only increased even more. Nursing home abuse is at a nearly all-time high due to increased demand and the pressures of the pandemic. This is a dangerous combination of demand and threat. It puts assisted living facilities in a terrible position.

COVID-19 cases in nursing facilities have mirrored those of the general public. There’s been no slowing the spread from the outside world to the elderly in such living facilities. This is a major-league issue affecting many families, since positive patients must quarantine. Then they’re separated from both their families and secondary care. It’s easy to see how this negatively affects their care.

Greystone Nursing Homes has several facilities across Florida, which became hotbeds for COVID-19. Its director, Kevin Mimbs, Jr. commented, “the lack of resources at Greystone, while profits continued, meant that residents were put at risk and staffers felt unequipped to handle the coronavirus pandemic.” This was not an isolated issue, either.

The Sarita Redmond Story

Sarita Redmond was a resident of Southern Oaks Care Center in Pensacola, FL. Southern Oaks reached out to Sarita’s family to let them know that she was suffering COVID-19. But they refused to tell her family more. Sarita was alone in quarantine and virus laws completely sealed her off from her family. Sarita’s case is only one of many where this sort of thing took place. Many others claim that phones went unanswered for days at nursing facilities. No one could see their family members or check on their care and wellbeing.

At Southern Oaks, there were over 100 COVID cases in a 210-bed facility during Sarita Redmond’s stay. Redmond was just one of many who got inadequate care at a nursing home and then contracted COVID-19. Disease and neglect combined to create awful living conditions for nursing home residents.

Not only were the worsened living conditions neglectful, their consequence was often permanent, if not fatal. Psychological damage is common when those meant to help are actually hurting. In Sarita’s case, the neglect took her life. Such has been the reality for far too many nursing home residents, especially for those in Florida during this pandemic.

Contact a Florida Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer If You’ve Experienced Neglect

If this story hits close to home because you or a loved one has experienced nursing home abuse, contact us today. The nursing home and elder care abuse lawyers of Brooks Law Group can review your case. You deserve a dedicated team of attorneys who will fight for your rights and your family’s wellbeing.

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