July 8, 2013
With an increase of deaths and injuries occurring in Florida nursing homes, parents of the disabled children sent to these homes took a stand against the nursing home abuse and neglect in an open discussion that sparked concern and rage on Monday evening.
Last year, a disabled child who was sent to the Westchester Nursing Home in Florida received inadequate care after the State reduced the number of hours required for his medical care. Earlier last year, another disabled girl died while in the care of the Florida Club Care nursing home in Miami. As the incidents continue to rise, parents have stepped up to speak directly to Florida’s Agency for Health Care Administration, lawmakers, and community leaders.
Instead of sending disabled children to nursing homes to face neglect, abuse, and lack of socialization, parents are urging the state to consider a better way to take care of the children. Community members joined in as well. In the open discussion, parents and citizens took turns at the podium expressing their outrage of disabled children being shipped off to nursing homes in Florida. Irvin Rosenfeld, an employee of a local center that helps disabled children learn to sail, stated that nursing homes will only lead to further problems for disabled children:
“Nursing homes are not an answer for children.”
Another speaker, Larry Foreman, insinuated that the state of Florida was moving backwards to the days when children were pushed into rural institutions and forgotten about. He angrily expressed his views to lawmakers:
“I want you to leave here as alarmed and as angry as I am. You need to make a difference. We need your help. These children are crying for your assistance.”
Meanwhile, since last year, hundreds of families have already retained Florida nursing home attorneys and filed class-action lawsuits against the state for sending their disabled children to nursing homes where they have been neglected and abused.