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West Palm Beach nursing home operator faces charges

Health care for senior citizens is a priority issue in Florida, home to one of the highest numbers of elder Americans as well as facilities for their maintenance and convalescence. Nursing homes and related facilities are staffed by caring professionals, so it is rare and tragic when a person or organization does not properly care for their charges.

One suspicious assisted-living situation is being investigated by the Palm Beach Sheriff's Office and Florida's Agency for Health Care Administration after the arrest of its operator on suspicion of elder abuse. A 52-year-old Wellington man stands accused of restraining residents and leaving them unsupervised overnight.

The West Palm Beach facility is licensed for six beds and had already been under investigation by the state agency. It had determined the facility did not properly assess residents' health and did not submit employees for background checks required for hospice care work. An inspector also witnessed a worker giving medication without first washing her hands.

Residents of nursing homes and assisted-living facilities have the right to the highest possible standard of care from their caretakers, and residents and their loved ones may have to fight for that right if care is substandard. Nursing home patients and their families may file a lawsuit in civil court to rectify this situation.

Financial damages may cover medical expenses and any sort of pain or distress of recovery. In the unfortunate case of a wrongful death lawsuit, damages can help the family recover from an unexpected loss. Victims may consider legal representation to help strengthen their case for settlement, jury verdict or other conclusion.

Source: Sun Sentinel, "Assisted living home owner arrested on elder abuse charges," Scott Travis, April 20, 2018

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