Florida Nursing Home Faces Abuse Allegations

Two state agencies are investigating a Cape Coral, Florida home for seniors after family members of two of its residents brought allegations of <"http://www.yourlawyer.com/practice_areas/nursing_home_negligence">elder abuse to police. According to News-Press.com report, the home, Clare Bridge, provides Alzheimer’s disease and dementia care.

Two men whose family members are residents went to Cape Coral police this month after a staff member told them a nursing assistant had been abusing residents, reports said.

One man’s father-in-law had been seen with facial bruises, and staff told him the 89-year-old fell off a couch. The other man said his father said a person wouldn’t let go of his thumb, reports said.

The parent company of Clare Bridge, Brookdale Senior Living, conducted an internal investigation based on the allegations, said Holly Botsford, a spokeswoman. “Abuse of any kind is not tolerated,” she said in a written statement.

Connie Barron, Cape police spokeswoman, said a detective has been assigned, adding it was the only incident that has required investigation at the community. The Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) was also is investigating, said Shelisha Durden, a spokeswoman. Durden said she could provide no further details. But, if problems are found, the agency would require an approved plan of corrective action.

Botsford said AHCA has notified the company it has completed its investigation and no deficiencies were found. She said the home is fully cooperating with the Department of Children and Families, which is also investigating.

In the meantime, the Cape Coral home for seniors has fired three people for violating company policy, a spokeswoman said. According to Botsford, the terminations were not related to the incident or an internal investigation.

“Specifically, the acts for which terminations occurred were directly tied to failure to maintain confidentiality, disrespect, threatening others, and spreading gossip,” Botsford wrote in an email to News-Press.com.

Sadly, stories of nursing home abuse have been running rampant. Late last month, we wrote about another case of nursing home abuse involving a family who sued the Harborside of Madisonville alleging that the facility’s neglect led to the death of Joseph Cling Offutt, 92, who stayed at the facility for a mere nine days before his death. The Kentucky facility is now known as the Hillside Villa Care and Rehabilitation Center.

In another case last month, an Iowa nursing home was ordered to pay close to a-half million dollars to the estate of Wilbur Jackson, following his death at the facility. The Des Moines Register explained that the accident took place at Grinnell’s Friendship Manor Care Center in June 2009. Mr. Jackson was at the facility for 17 days for what was meant to be a short rehab stay following hip surgery. On his way, via ambulance from the facility to a local hospital for physician-ordered tests, Mr. Jackson was strapped to a gurney and joking with staff when a crack in the pavement caused the gurney to flip. Mr. Jackson’s head hit the pavement, he fell into a coma, and died the following month. Before the trial, officials at Friendship Manor deposed that the pavement cracks long existed but were never considered a danger; however, Richard Achenbach, the facility’s administrator at the time of the accident, deposed that he repaired the walkway’s cracks the morning after the accident saying, “When I’d seen a crack like that, I considered it could be a safety issue,” quoted the Des Moines Register.

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