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Florida Assisted Living Facilities: Tarnishing the ‘Pride of Florida’

For more than a quarter century, Florida’s assisted living facilities (ALF) were the result of landmark legislation to provide protections, shelter and care for the elderly, infirm and mentally ill – some of Florida’s most vulnerable citizens. Today, thousands reside in these facilities. Many are restrained with straps or psychotropic medications, and abused by their caregivers. While covered by what should be stringent oversight, many facilities operate in the shadows, abusing residents, thwarting efforts to reel the facilities in, and tarnishing what some believe once were the “the pride of Florida.”

In a sweeping story, The Miami Herald investigates several facilities, like Sunshine Acres Loving Care. The paper reports that “…For more than a decade, Bruce Hall ran his assisted-living facility in Florida’s Panhandle like a prison camp. He punished his disabled residents by refusing to give them food and drugs. He threatened them with a stick. He doped them with powerful tranquilizers, and when they broke his rules, he beat them — sending at least one to the hospital.

“’The conditions in the facility are not fit even for a dog,’ one caller told state agents.”

Read the entire story here.