Extreme accounts of abuse and neglect were discovered at a long term care facility in Palm Beach recently and felony charges have been brought against the owner. The owner was running the home without a license and charged about $500 a month, which is far below average rates for assisted living facilities. The owner also has a criminal record.
A majority of the tenants were referred to the home by a nonprofit organization, called the Oakwood Center, that aims to help society’s most vulnerable population, such as homeless or impoverished disabled people requiring long term care. Although Oakwood inspectors reported no signs of abuse and neglect, a deputy discovered horrifying problems. Medicine was being withheld from patients, food was not available, flies and larvae were present near unwashed dishes in the sink, residents’ clothes were dirty and mattresses soiled among numerous other citations. Clients and family members alleged that Oakwood offered no other choices and failed to detect or report abuse and neglect in the home, although case managers did meet with the owner about making improvements. Oakwood was granted over $11 million in state and federal grants last year. In addition, road patrol deputies were called about six times a month for instances of burglary, assault, attempted suicide and abuse and did nothing to prevent the continuing operation of the home.
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