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Florida Nursing Home Administrator Suspended, Arrested Amid Neglect Investigation

The administrator of a Florida nursing home in Ocala has been suspended from his post and arrested on neglect charges after he allegedly failed to notify a nurse of a resident’s deteriorating health. 

The Gainesville Sun reports the nurse who was supervising the patient’s care reportedly told the 31-year-old administrator to let her know right away if there were any changes to the patient’s condition, following an outpatient surgical procedure. Despite this request, the on-duty staff reportedly contacted the administrator twice throughout the weekend to tell him the resident’s health was declining rapidly. He did not provide them with instructions for her care, nor did he contact the nurse.

The newspaper reports it’s not clear why the staff didn’t contact the nurse – or other qualified medical professionals – to intervene instead when it became clear the patient was doing so poorly. It’s also not exactly clear why it was the job of the facility administrator to contact the nurse when he was not the one on site caring for her. The administrator reportedly only relayed the message about the patient’s declining health when he returned to work on Monday. The nurse at that time told him to call 911 right away and have the resident taken to a nearby hospital via ambulance.

Police were contacted, and the administrator was subsequently suspended and then arrested on a charge of neglect of the elderly. 

This news came shortly after the facility, which has 45 beds, was ordered by state health officials to top accepting new patient admissions. State investigators reported they found copious evidence of poor supervision, did not have the appropriate level of staffing or training and did not take required necessary emergency action when one of the patients fell. Staffers also reportedly either did not have the ability or simply failed to provide appropriate care to meet the needs of the residents.

It’s not the first time this facility has come under fire from state authorities. The facility was previously cited six years ago for failure to feed pureed diets to more than a dozen residents whose physicians had ordered it. Instead, they were giving patients slices of beef. Sadly, one of those residents reportedly choked and died.

The executive director of watchdog group Families for Better Care noted this was a center that had more than a decade’s worth of violations and infractions involving patient care, including serious abuse and neglect, and several of those incidents resulted in death. Another case reported showed a 52-year-old resident with a traumatic brain injury assaulting an 86-year-old resident in a “secure unit,” though no staffers were present or intervened for two full minutes as the elderly man was pushed, kicked and punched nearly 60 times.

Our Orlando nursing home abuse lawyers know neglect is vastly underreported in many facilities, and it’s necessary for family members and other loved ones to intervene and consult with an experienced attorney if they suspect their loved one is mistreated. Some examples of neglect at nursing homes include:

  • Failure to provide oral or dental care;
  • Failure to provide regular or adequate bathing;
  • Not completing prescribed wound care;
  • Not providing residents with activities (particularly if they are less mobile);
  • Transferring patients with one staffer when the job requires two (increasing the risk of falls);
  • Not assisting patients with regular toileting when they ask or when it’s apparent that it’s necessary;
  • Failure to ensure residents are hydrated.

If you have concerns about a loved one’s treatment in a nursing home, we can help.

Call Freeman Injury Law — 1-800-561-7777 for a free appointment to discuss your rights. Now serving Orlando, West Palm Beach, Port St. Lucie and Fort Lauderdale.

Additional Resources:

Nursing home administrator arrested in neglect of elderly, Dec. 12, 2017, By Daniel Smithson, The Gainesville Sun

More Blog Entries:

Nursing Home Workers Convicted of Neglect After Resident Suffered Hundreds of Insect Bites, Dec. 20, 2017, Orlando Nursing Home Neglect Attorney Blog

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