A video of a resident on resident beating that lasted for over two minutes finally culminated in the state shutting down a beleaguered assisted living facility in Williston, Florida. Williston is located about 20 miles southwest of Gainesville. The video shows an 86 year old man being punched more than 50 times by a 52 year old resident. The 86 year old suffers from dementia. The 52 year old has a history of mental illness and aggression. During the beating, there were no staff members present in the common area where the incident occurred. Furthermore, no one was assigned to monitor the surveillance camera that captured the incident.
Florida’s Agency for Heathcare Administration (“AHCA”), which regulates both nursing homes and assisted living facilities, sanctioned the Good Samaritan Retirement Home 17 times over the last 5 years and fined it in excess of $70,000.00. Despite these measures, the assisted living facility remained in business.
One month after the beating, a female resident fell in the parking lot and was neither taken to the hospital nor provided any medical treatment. Later that night, the woman was found non-responsive and blood-soaked. She later died at the hospital. After that incident, AHCA put in place a moratorium preventing the assisted living facility from accepting new residents; however, it was allowed to continue to operate with the residents already living there.
Two weeks later, another incident occurred which resulted in the arrest of an administrator at the assisted living facility. On December 7, one of the residents had a medical procedure and had to be closely monitored to watch for changes in condition. Over the next few days, staff reported to the administrator that the resident had deteriorated; however, the administrator took no responsive action. He was charged with neglect of the elderly.
Citing additional concerns and medication errors, AHCA finally shut down the facility effective December 23, seven weeks after the videotaped two minute beating occurred. Residents and their families are understandably frustrated by the lack of a more timely response by the state.
The bottom line here is that you cannot rely on the state to vet a nursing home or assisted living facility for you. If you or a loved one is in need of assisted living or a nursing home, it pays to do your own homework. As a starter, for nursing homes, we recommend you review the five star rating system created by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Next, you should visit the nursing home or assisted living facility. While there, you should do your best to observe whether: the facility is clean; whether the facility has an unpleasant odor; whether there are common areas that meet your needs; and whether the staff is qualified to meet your healthcare requirements. If you have any questions about how to select the right nursing home or assisted living facility, please feel free to contact one of our Jacksonville nursing home neglect and abuse lawyers. We will be happy to share our experiences with the the nursing homes in our region. We handle nursing home abuse and neglect cases throughout Northeast Florida including: Duval County; Clay County; Baker County; St. John’s County; Nassau County; Flagler County; Union County; Columbia County; Volusia County; Putnam County and Alachua County.