Miami Mayor Calls For More Nursing Home Oversight
Miami Mayor Tomás Regalado recently gave opening remarks at a hearing concerning some of the growing issues facing nursing homes and other assisted living facilities in Miami and across the state of Florida. The mayor hopes the state legislature will pass a bill that would hold nursing home administrators accountable for the wellbeing of residents.
Mayor Regalado pointed out cities and counties in Florida have no authority to police nursing homes and other similar facilities. Local Miami leaders want the state to pass a law mandating nursing homes that service residents with mental disorders to hire guards for protection. Various bills attempting to address the issue have failed in the legislature over recent years.
The remarks came at a hearing sponsored by SEIU United Healthcare Workers union, an organization representing thousands of nursing home caregivers across the country. The conference also focused on staffing concerns of nursing homes. Many assisted living facilities are understaffed and workers cannot spend adequate time with residents, according to proponents.
Do Miami nursing homes have a problem?
According to statistics, about one in every five of the state’s nursing home and assisted living facilities are on the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services watch list. In Miami, that number is one in three facilities. In 2015, 50 nursing homes were added to the list.
The executive director of Families for Better Care, Brian Lee, claims the state’s nursing home system is in crisis. The head of the Alliance for Aging in Miami, Max Rothman, alleges advocates brought up concerns about the state’s assisted living facility programs as far back as the 1980s but little has been done to correct issues.
Florida elder abuse laws
Florida does have laws aimed at prosecuting abuse of elders by caregivers. According to the law, elder abuse is defined as:
- Intentional infliction of physical or psychological injury upon an elderly person or disabled adult;
- An intentional act that could reasonably be expected to result in physical or psychological injury to an elderly person or disabled adult; or
- Active encouragement of any person to commit an act that results or could reasonably be expected to result in physical or psychological injury to an elderly person or disabled adult.
Elder abuse is a third degree felony, punishable by up to five years of prison and/or probation and may include a fine of up to $5,000. In some instances, nursing homes themselves can be held responsible for the acts of a criminal caregiver.
Miami nursing home abuse lawyers
The elder law lawyers of The Pendas Law Firm have absolutely zero tolerance for cruelty and neglect imposed on the elderly. Our lawyers regularly represent nursing home abuse victims and their families in civil lawsuits against nursing homes that did not do enough to protect the wellbeing of its residents.
If you believe that your loved one suffered harm at the hands of nursing home staff, contact our office for a consultation about your case. Our office represents clients in Orlando, Tampa, Fort Myers, Jacksonville, West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale & Miami and can help families and victims get justice.