Saturday, April 16, 2016

Residents In Troubled 81-Bed Assisted Care Home To Get The Boot After State Yanks Facility's Operating License; Aide's Admission She Hit Dementia-Stricken Patient Over The Head w/ Water Pitcher Was Last Straw For Complaint-Riddled Outfit

In Hollywood, Florida, the South Florida Sun Sentinel reports:
  • A troubled Hollywood assisted living facility is being forced to close after losing its license to operate.

    The facility has until the end of April to transfer residents to other facilities, said Shelisha Coleman, spokeswoman for the Florida Agency on Health Care Administration.

    On Feb. 5, Coolidge Palms was barred from accepting new residents after an aide admitted she hit an 80-year-old woman in the head with a water pitcher 10 days earlier. The elderly woman, who suffers from dementia, required a trip to the hospital for stitches.

    Aide Mary Hunte told police she poured water on the woman's head on Jan. 26, then struck her with the pitcher because the woman bit her arm. But a state investigator who saw a surveillance video of the incident disputes the aide's claim.

    Hunte was never disciplined, according to a manager at the 81-bed facility at Coolidge Street and Dixie Highway.

    Christopher Parrella, an attorney for Coolidge Palms, could not be reached for comment despite an email and call to his office.

    Coolidge Palms has had 30 complaints filed against it over the past five years, according to the state. One incident, involving an amputee left to change her own diapers, led to a $10,000 fine last year.

    But it was the water pitcher incident that led the state to impose an emergency moratorium prohibiting the facility from taking in new patients, state records show.

    At the time of the incident, Coolidge Palms had been under a "plan of correction" required by the state to ensure that staff be retrained on resident rights and recognizing and reporting abuse and neglect.The state in February found no evidence it had complied.

    The state's decision to shut down a big facility is rare, said Brian Lee, a former elder care ombudsman for the state of Florida.

    "Usually they shut down small places. [The state] is flexing their muscles by going after a large assisted living facility," said Lee, executive director of Families for Better Care, a national advocacy group for improving conditions at long-term care facilities.

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