May 16, 2011
A recent opinion piece on OrlandoSentinel.com argues that recent policies in Florida are enabling nursing home abuse and neglect instead of fighting against it.
The article points out attacks on Florida’s successful ombudsmen program such as removing the watchdog group’s leader–and his successor–and introducing a bill that would have made it more difficult for ombudsmen to visit nursing homes.
Legislators also cut Medicaid reimbursements by over $180 million. And given the shortage of government money now going to nursing homes, lawmakers have also lowered the number of hours staff must give direct care to residents from 3.9 hours a day to 3.6.
The article charges that “The state’s message was clear: We’re not going to pay you as much. But don’t worry. You won’t have to care for your residents as well as before.”
Previous safeguards for the elderly are also being taken away by legislators. And there is talk of capping lawsuit amounts a nursing home abuse lawyer can help families receive in abuse and neglect cases.
The writer of the article urges Floridians to stand up and speak out and help protect the elderly of Florida.