RUSKIN (FOX 13) - Florida officials have banned an assisted living facility in the Bay Area from taking in any new residents after learning caretakers allegedly haven’t done enough to stop abusive behavior among current residents, according to a report.
Inspired Living at Sun City Center houses residents who suffer cognitive limitations. The investigation, conducted by Florida’s Agency for Healthcare Administration, documents dozens of instances of sexual and physical abuse among residents over the last two months. The investigation determined workers and administrators at the facility rarely intervened and “grossly failed” to ensure the safety and welfare of its residents.
Specifically, the report details three residents known to engage in sexual or violent behavior, including inappropriate touching, physical altercations, and exposing genitals to other residents and staff while “acting out sexually.”
While investigating on December 3, the state said an agency personnel observed a male resident grab a female resident by the neck and shoulder, shaking and striking her. The report said no staff were in the area, and the actual agent had to intervene and pull the man off the woman.
One resident was accused of walking around naked in the hallways numerous times, become physically aggressive toward another resident, exposing his genitals to a female resident and fondling her.
State investigators also outlined a system of failures that allowed inappropriate behavior and abuse to become an ongoing problem at the facility. The report states workers at the facility knew about abuse, but failed to address the behaviors in order to protect others.
Aside from one singular incident, staff also failed to notify victims’ and perpetrators' families, investigators said. The state alleges that Inspired Living also failed to investigate each incident or evaluate the perpetrators for intervention, or possible removal from the facility.
The report also said staff failed to check on victims to make sure they were healthy and safe after the abuse. In one incident, investigators said:
“Despite actual knowledge that a resident focused inappropriate sexual behavior upon a particular resident, the respondent took no action to separate or further protect the female resident, leaving this resident assigned to a room directly adjacent to that of her tormentor.”
The state determined it necessary to place an immediate Moratorium on admissions because of the threat to public health and safety as the investigation continues.
The care facility released the following statement to FOX 13 News, adding that all three of the patients that were abusing other patients have been removed.
Late this morning, we received the State’s corrective recommendations report. We are in the process of implementing all the State’s administrative recommendations, none of which are care related, and we expect to have all that work completed and resolved tonight. We are working closely with the State to ensure we can continue to serve our community and provide the highest quality care for those who suffer from dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.