Florida Headed To Dark Ages of Nursing Home Neglect and Abuse
Scott Maxwell of the Orlando Sentinel writes that Florida is well on its way back to the dark ages when it comes to nursing home neglect and abuse. Much of the changes have been made by the current Florida Legislature and Executive branch. Regulations are being rolled back, and watchdog programs are being “neutered”. Staffing requirements were lowered by law enacted just a week ago. Maxell notes that all of this is happening while horrific examples of abuse are on the rise. For example, in Pinellas County, a 75 year old priest wandered away unsupervised from a facility and was found in a lake, his body ripped apart by alligators, while in the Florida Panhandle, an assisted living facility owner threatened residents with a stick and refused them medicines and food. In South Florida a resident died from burns received in a bathtub, and Maxwell reports that residents are dying at a rate of once a month from abuse and neglect. As Scott Maxwell notes, there may be profit in neglecting the elderly, but it is inhumane. Contact your legislator and oppose further relief for nursing homes and assisted living facilities because they will surely return to Tallahassee next year for more special favors, like less regulation and more restrictions on lawsuits and damages juries can award to abused senior citizens.