They Just Took Me Away – Florida’s Guardianship System

It’s been a year since Jan Garwood, a 72-year-old central Florida woman, won her freedom back and started trying to piece together what was left of her life.

In 2017, Garwood was placed in an assisted living facility against her will. A judge had declared her mentally incompetent and put her in the care of a professional guardian to protect her health and finances. The system was supposed to help her. Instead, Garwood felt like a prisoner.

She was stuck in a lockdown ward for three years, until a local activist and two attorneys managed to get her rights restored. By then, though, she’d lost more than three years. Her guardian had sold her house, leaving her temporarily homeless. All of her possessions were missing.

Nursing Home Abuse | Types of Abuse & Filing a Lawsuit

A nursing home abuse lawsuit is a legal action taken against a nursing home for mistreatment of a resident. Most victims file civil lawsuits for compensation, though some may file criminal lawsuits for restitution. Many civil lawsuits end in settlements.

Elder abuse is not a new problem, and it’s common, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. While elder abuse can occur anywhere, a growing number of nursing home residents experience abuse.

About 1.3 million Americans lived in nursing homes in 2015, according to the CDC.

Nearly 1 in 3 nursing homes were cited for violations, according to data cited by the National Center on Elder Abuse. About 1 in 10 homes had violations that caused serious injury or harm. Some of these injuries were serious enough to be life threatening.

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