Florida is home to many elderly residents and care facilities, so when nursing home neglect happens in the state, it tends to hit home for many residents. On Dec. 6, two employees of the Clermont Health & Rehabilitation Center, located in the central region of Florida, were arrested at the facility on charges of neglect of a disabled elderly person. The charges are connected to the death of a patient at the facility earlier this year.
The Florida attorney general's office has said the accused women did not follow a primary care doctor's orders, and that this failure contributed to the death of the patient. The two women were placed in the Lake County jail.
The patient was in the facility for 59 days and died on Feb. 27, 2011. Officials say the primary cause of the patient's death was complications from a hip fracture. They added that although there were other contributing factors, they were not enough to charge the women with negligent homicide.
It has been reported that the investigation into this incident of nursing home neglect was triggered by a Department of Children and Families (DCF) investigation. The rehabilitation center provides a number of services, including skilled nursing and short- and long-term care, as well as services that help patients transition from the hospital to home. A spokesman for the facility read a prepared statement in which he said the home was cooperating with the investigation.
It is vital that all the facts and circumstances in this case be gathered and thoroughly analyzed. As the criminal investigation continues, the surviving family members of the deceased may want to pursue a civil suit. If the ongoing investigation substantiates the alleged nursing home failures, then the family of the victim deserves the fullest extent of justice under the law.
Source: The Daily Commercial, "Officials charged in patient's death," Millard K. Ives, Dec. 7, 2011