Grotesque Neglect in Florida Nursing Homes

Reporters from the Miami Herald recently published an investigative report on nursing homes and assisted living facilities and found “grotesque neglect and outright abuse and awful deaths suffered by elderly and mentally disturbed residents.”

They found in some cases residents had been denied medications, restrained illegally with ropes, and untreated wounds. In one instance, an elderly resident had been scaled by his bath water and later died as a result. That facility remains licensed even after the scalding death and 100 or more citations on record.

Miami Herald columnist, Fred Grimm notes that “ten years ago, the Florida Legislature voted to limit the legal liability of nursing home and ALFs. Maybe tort reform was a good idea at the time. But the problem since then has been that the state’s Agency for Health Care Administration, which oversees ALFs, has been underfunded and understaffed and uninspired, even as the number of AFLs has increased to 2,850, with some 80,000 residents. The state can only manage to inspect each ALF once every two years. Violations, more often than not, bring only warning.”

Unfortunately the abuse and neglect in Florida’s nursing homes continues to go unpunished as residents suffer horrible conditions and preventable deaths.