Fred Grimm: Assisted living facility horrors have gone unpunished



The maddening thing is that the horrors — and they were gut wrenching — have gone unpunished.

A Miami Herald investigation found grotesque neglect and outright abuse and awful deaths suffered by elderly and mentally disturbed residents consigned to assisted living facilities.

The Herald’s Carol Marbin Miller, Mike Sallah and Rob Barry chronicled a pervasive use of illegal restraints. Some as crude as tying residents to their beds with ropes or shoving them into closets. Some using powerful tranquilizers, as if ALFs had a business plan for warehousing zombies.

They reported ALFs that subjected their residents to filthy conditions. They found awful instances of physical neglect. Of residents denied crucial medications and critical medical care. They found wounds left untreated.

The Herald reporters found ALFs where residents had been beaten and terrorized and raped by other inmates. They found cruelty by ALF staffers. They found negligence – often utter obliviousness – that resulted in deaths. And they found deaths from negligence or cruelty reported as natural causes.

But the most disturbing findings, the stuff that made a reader’s teeth clinch, was that so much of the negligence and abuse and shoddy treatment and outright cruelty and cover-ups went unpunished.  read more

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