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Does your loved one's nursing home have a safety plan?

Not everyone is prepared to care for their elderly parents or other loved ones in their own home. Many times job and familial obligations preclude doing so, or they require a level of care that can only be rendered by professionals.

Placing a beloved relative in a nursing home is often stressful, however, and it's important to find the best care possible for them. One thing to consider when selecting a nursing facility is their evacuation plan in case of emergencies.

Florida gets more than its share of natural disasters, often in the form of hurricanes, but tornadoes and floods can also devastate an area. Another deadly hazard is a fire, which can sweep through a nursing home fueled by the oxygen tanks used by the residents. Before placing a loved one in a care facility, ask the director about their safety systems and evacuation plans.

Do they have enough staff on all three shifts to safely escort all residents out of the home in the event of an emergency? Are there enough fire exits, sprinkler systems and smoke detectors located on the premises?

It's not enough to just have systems in place — staff must have periodic drills to reinforce the procedures in the event of an emergency when they must move quickly and decisively.

There should be a sufficient staff-to-patient ratio 24 hours a day (including holidays) to carry out an evacuation or escape plan at all times. When questioning the management of the nursing home, if they attempt to evade your questions or their answers are unsatisfactory, that is a major red flag.

If your loved one in a long term care facility dies due to the negligence of staff or management's failure to have a sufficient safety and evacuation plan in place, we can help you seek justice. Call today for a confidential consultation with our attorneys.

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