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Florida Rehabilitation Center May Face Elder Neglect Charges

By Orlando Personal Injury Attorney on January 18, 2013

Orlando elder abuse attorneys have been following a recent case of suspected abuse closely after hearing about the severity of the victim’s injuries. The Clermont Police Department and the Florida Department of Children and Families are investigating a local rehabilitation center on suspicion of elder abuse after an elderly man was taken to the hospital with third-degree skin ulcers on his buttocks. According to the police report, the man was taken to South Lake Hospital, where staffers alerted police and the state agency after treating the man’s ulcers. Given the advanced stage of the ulcers, staff members suspected neglect, prompting the investigation.

During their investigation, they spoke with the man’s daughter, who told them that she had been having problems with Clermont Health and Rehabilitation Center for two months. She said that she had contacted the center several times to address skin ulcers she had observed on her father from not being turned in his bed regularly. She also complained that her father was experiencing mouth sores because his dentures were not being removed on a daily basis. Clermont Health and Rehabilitation Center spokesman Tom Groesbeck said the facility is cooperating with the ongoing investigation by the DCF and local authorities.

The state has clear guidelines governing the care of people housed in assisted living centers. These guidelines outline expected levels of care, including how often a bedridden patient must be moved in order to prevent skin ulcerations from occurring. Unless a patient is moved regularly, their weight causes pressure points, which can develop into skin ulcers, also called pressure ulcers, decubitus ulcers or bedsores. The degrees of pressure ulcers include the following:

  • First Degree
    Intact skin with redness over a localized area, usually over a bony area
  • Second Degree
    Shallow open ulcer or blister with red or pink wound bed
  • Third Degree
    Full thickness tissue loss, exposing fat cells but not bone, tendon or muscle; in areas where there is usually significant adipose tissue, such as the buttocks, third degree pressure ulcers can penetrate quite deeply and be exceptionally painful
  • Fourth Degree
    Extensive tissue loss exposing bone, tendon or muscle; usually requiring plastic surgery and extensive rehabilitation

Neglect is only one of many types of elder abuse, and it is incumbent on all of us to report elder abuse when we observe it or suspect that it is occurring. If you or a loved one has suffered abuse and you would like to speak with an Orlando elder abuse lawyer, call James O. Cunningham today at 877-FL-INJURY (877-354-6587) to schedule a free consultation. He is an Orlando personal injury attorney who has helped abuse victims and their families receive the fair and just compensation they deserve since 1977.

James O. Cunningham

James O. CunninghamSince 1977, personal injury lawyer James Cunningham has provided effective legal advocacy to people who are injured through the negligent actions of another person or entity throughout the Central Florida area. He fights to obtain recoveries for his clients’ physical and emotional pain and suffering and pursues his clients’ personal injury cases with a commitment to excellence and impeccable preparation.

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