You can abuse and neglect the disabled at an Assisted Living Facility in Florida – and you can still continue to run or work at the facility. Yes, that is true. There is no statute or administrative rule that prevents someone who has been held responsible for the abuse, neglect or even death of a resident of an ALF from being banned from running or working at an ALF.
Couple this with the fact that Governor Scott fired the head of the Long Term Ombudsman Council for being too aggressive in pursing complaints against Florida Nursing Homes and other care facilities – and being disabled or aged in Florida can be dangerous to your health.
Rick Scott has formed a panel to look into the possibilities that care facilities for the aged and disabled may be harming our citizens. Of course this is the same man who put the owner of a large chain of nursing homes in charge of the entity responsible to oversee and handle complaints from nursing homes. The foxes are running the hen house. We can expect no more from any commission that our Governor sets up.
The Miami Herald ran a series called Neglected to Death. This investigated and documented numerous cases of abuse in our ALF’s and nursing homes.
This series ran in May and our vulnerable elderly and disabled are still without adequate protection.
At one time the State of Florida had the Human Rights Council and later the Florida Local Advocacy Council to oversee complaints and conditions in facilities for the disabled and elderly. These were volunteers with no vested interested who gave of their time to inspect and investigate complaints and conditions. They reported to the Governor’s office.
However, like the Ombudsman Council they were too aggressive and found too many problems with facilities that provided care to the vulnerable in our state. Two years ago the council was abolished. We no longer have a third party organization, or any organization for that matter, concerned with Human Rights Violations.
Being old or vulnerable in Florida can be hazardous to your health.
Governor Scott step up and appoint a third party organization to review Human Rights Violations. It needs to be an organization of volunteers who have no vested or monetary interest in Nursing Homes, ALF’s or other facilities.
Make Florida a safe place for our elderly, disabled and vulnerable citizens.
Keep squeaking those wheels.
Previously posted on View From The Dark Side Of The Moon blog.