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Assisted Living Facility Reform Taking Longer Than Expected

Last year, Gov. Rick Scott appointed The Assisted Living Workgroup in an attempt to reform Florida’s assisted living facilities after a Miami Herald investigation revealed numerous deaths stemming from neglect and abuse. The Workgroup, which is comprised of seven assisted living facility owners and three elder advocates, was created to debate recommendations designed to improve quality of life for facility residents. However, when the Workgroup met in late July, it was unable to come to any type of conclusion regarding the recommendations; the Workgroup rejected or tabled almost “every measure that ran afoul of the industry.”

Rep. Matt Hudson and Sen. Rene Garcia labeled one specific proposal that called for banning administrators who had previously lost a license due to egregious cases of abuse or death “exceptionally onerous”. Owners argued that they are the mercy of their staff members, whether they are in the building or not. The discussion on the ban was tabled; elder advocates stated that they allowed the matter to be tabled because they knew the measure would fail if it were put to a vote.

Owners blamed social workers for the bad image their industry has been plagued with. Yet, one elder advocate stated that she often found residents left in front of the television for hours with nothing to do and claimed this constituted abuse. She added that residents rarely complain about their living conditions because they fear that administrators will discharge them with nowhere to go.

One of the main issues the Workgroup faced was determining the amount of responsibility that should rest on owners and administrators regarding resident safety. Elder advocated believe that “administrations are ultimately responsible for conditions in their homes, whether they were on site or not,” while administrators feel that there are some things that are just entirely out of their control and they should not be liable for those instances. The group did agree on one thing–that they do not want bad providers representing their profession. Steven P. Schrunk, representing the Florida Health Care Association, stated, “We don’t want these characters, these repeat offenders, exploiting our elders or neglecting our elders or mistreating them in this profession, period.” The group did approve a plan to create an assisted living facility “council” to regularly meet and set new policies.

Proposals to reform ALFs hit resistance, July 27, 2012.

Many adults fear placing their parents and loved ones into Florida nursing homes and assisted living facilities because of the atrocities uncovered by the Miami Herald investigation. While the state is working to make living conditions better for residents, nothing has been set in stone. If you believe your loved one is being abused or is being neglected in a nursing home or assisted living facility, or has been in the past, call the nursing home negligence lawyers at the Friedland | Carmona today. With over twenty years of experience, the Hialeah wrongful death lawyers at the Friedland | Carmona are expert trial attorneys who have dedicated their careers to helping victims recover compensation for their injuries. Don’t hesitate! Call (305) 661-2008 today for your free consultation!

The Miami personal injury attorneys at the Friedland | Carmona handle all types of negligence cases throughout the state of Florida, including Boca Raton, Homestead, North Miami, South Miami, Miami Beach, Coral Gables, Pembroke Pines, Hialeah, Kendall, Aventura, Fort Lauderdale and Palm Beach. The Friedland | Carmona handles all types of personal injury cases, including wrongful death, defective products, medical malpractice, slip and falls and construction site injuries. Call the Miami personal injury attorneys at (305) 661-2008 for your free consultation. Call today and let our family take care of your family!

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