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Tampa Patient Suicide Attorney

Nursing Home Abuse Attorney Serving Clients in Patient Suicide Cases

When you think about someone who is at risk for suicide, you may not immediately think about an older person in a nursing home or long-term care facility. However, the elderly are very prone to depression, and the desire to commit suicide can happen at any age. The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention estimated that 1.4 million people attempted suicide in 2017, 47,173 of those were successful. Currently, suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the country. For 2017, Florida ranked 37 in the nation for death by suicide.

Current Florida Suicide Statistics

You might think ranking 37 doesn’t mean that Florida is that bad off, but for 2018, the average is that one person dies by suicide every three hours in the state. Suicides are double the number of homicides in Florida. It’s the 8th leading cause of death for people ages 55-64, and the 16th leading cause of death for people 65 and over.

Suicide in Nursing Homes

Suicide is often overlooked in nursing homes and long-term care facilities. Some nursing homes that are supposed to be evaluating patients for depression and screen for possible suicidal thoughts are dropping the ball. Many are understaffed or not trained properly to recognize the symptoms.

If the nursing home staff fails to perform the required assessment or develop the right treatment plan, the patient may take his or her own life. In many of these cases, the suicide might never have happened if the facility had done their job and/or had the proper staff who were trained to identify and assess the patient’s risks. If you have a loved one who committed suicide while under the care of a nursing home, you need to speak with a Tampa nursing home abuse attorney right away.

What are the Reasons Nursing Home Residents Commit Suicide?

There are likely a number of reasons that contribute to someone’s desire to commit suicide when they are confined to a nursing home. It’s not much different than many other suicides by people who are not elderly or in a nursing home. Sometimes, there is a lot of emotional pain people are battling on top of physical ailments, but they appear in good spirits.

Some factors that might contribute to a nursing home resident committing suicide can include:

  • Chronic pain
  • Substance abuse
  • Mental illness and depression
  • History of suicidal behavior
  • Social stressors
  • Feelings of worthlessness
  • Suffering the loss of a loved one
  • Fear of being a burden on someone
  • Fear of losing a loved one
  • Medications that contribute to suicidal thoughts
  • Social isolation and loneliness
  • Functional impairment
  • Terminal illness

How Nursing Homes Can Help Reduce the Risk of Patient Suicide

Nursing homes have the duty to complete full assessments to help prevent patients from committing suicide. They should develop care plans for a patient who is at risk. There should be proper suicide training and programs available for staff members, and there should be protocols in place that help a staff member know what to do when they suspect someone is depressed or suicidal. There should be programs and group activities for residents who feel lonely or socially isolated.

Retaining a Tampa Patient Suicide Attorney

If you need assistance with pursuing a claim against a Tampa area nursing home for a patient suicide or other types of elder abuse, contact Kohn Law at 813-428-8504  to schedule a consultation.

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