Today [5/1/11] we launch the first of a three-part investigative series that reveals a systemic failure to protect Florida’s most vulnerable residents: the elderly and those with mental illness living in assisted-living facilities across the state.
The series, Neglected to Death, is the work of reporters Rob Barry, Carol Marbin Miller and Michael Sallah, who spent a year meticulously combing through thousands of records, visiting dozens of homes statewide, and conducting hundreds of interviews. Their findings reveal serious lapses in a system lauded as a national model when it was instituted in 1980.
“Florida made a promise 30 years ago that it was going to protect the vulnerable, particularly the elderly,” said Sallah, a prize-winning investigative reporter and editor. “Many experts would say the state has broken that promise. ’’
At the heart of the reporting is a rich database of hundreds of thousands of records that includes all inspections and complaint investigations by the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration, the sole regulatory agency for ALFs. Layered in: a decade of complaints filed with the State Department of Elder Affairs and public records including police reports, death certificates and autopsy reports.
Most critical to the reporting was the decision by the former secretary of the Department of Children & Families, George Sheldon, to release to The Herald a decade worth of confidential records detailing abuse and neglect allegations at assisted-living facilities statewide.
Full Article and Source:
Neglected to Death: How Florida Broke Its Promise to the Elderly
Protecting Yourself and Your Loved One
Search Florida Currently Active Assisted Living Facilities
Wandering Resident Meets Grisly End
A History of Violence Ends in Fiery Rampage
Toxic Sore Fatally Undetected
Neglected to Death - Key Events
The I-Team Miami Herald Reporters