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State bans Tampa Bay area assisted living facility from admitting new residents

State says an "immediate serious danger" exists
Posted at 7:03 PM, Dec 11, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-12 03:18:19-05

RUSKIN, Fla. — The state has banned a Tampa Bay area assisted living facility from admitting any more residents after state investigators found “a serious danger” at the residential home, including incidents of sexual assault and violent behavior by residents against other residents.

The report by Florida’s Agency for Health Care Administration found Inspired Living at Sun City Center didn’t do enough to stop those incidents. The facility specializes in caring for patients with dementia and Alzheimer’s.

The state has ordered a moratorium on any new admissions at Inspired Living at Sun City Center as of Dec. 5. In its findings, the agency said, “The Respondent’s deficient conduct is widespread and permeates the Facility thus placing in jeopardy the health, safety and welfare of all residents and potential future residents.” 

Additionally, the emergency order states, “With one exception, there is no indication that the family members or responsible parties of the residents subjected to behaviors or assaults were notified of the events. The residents of this Facility suffer from cognitive limitations which inhibit or prohibit the residents from reporting injury, abuse, neglect or discomfort.”

Patty Wood’s husband, Gregg, is one of 49 residents currently living at Inspired Living at Sun City Center. 

"It's very emotional for me,” a tearful Wood told I-Team Investigator Kylie McGivern. “I was his caregiver prior to placing him in the facility. I go to get him ready for bed and tuck him in at night. I kiss him and he smiles and he goes to sleep smiling.” 

She said she worries about Gregg Wood, a Vietnam veteran diagnosed with Alzheimer's.

“Alzheimer’s is a miserable disease,” she said. “I said, ‘I will take care of you.’ And so when the memory care specializes in the attention that they need, and then they don’t get it, you feel like you’ve failed as their spouse.”

Wood said she became concerned about her husband’s safety in October – three months into his stay at the facility. 

"I also witnessed falls. I've witnessed certain of the residents that were aggressive to the other residents,” said Patty Wood.

The state’s investigation found documented cases of residents sexually assaulting and punching other residents, and exposing their genitals to other residents.  

"I didn't feel like he was safe,” said Wood about her initial concerns in October.  

The I-Team found this is not the first time concerns have been raised about this facility. A lawsuit filed in May alleges negligence and poor care. 

According to the court records, a resident deemed a fall risk fell while taking a shower without supervision and died the next day. 

The state also fined the facility $500 in June for missing the deadline to provide reports on all serious incidents, including injuries and deaths. 

The Agency for Health Care Administration has put the facility on notice that they are monitoring Inspired Living at Sun City Center.

In an emailed statement to ABC Action News, Validus Senior Living, the parent company of the facility said:

On December 5, 2018, Inspired Living at Sun City Center was placed on a Moratorium for new resident admissions. 
We are proactively working with all parties involved as we follow the regulated standard procedures placed on us by the State. We are currently reviewing with the State the rigorous policies we already have in place that address admissions and long-term patient care for patients, such as ours, with memory loss issues and dementia-related diagnoses.       
We are committed to providing full transparency after all internal and external investigations have been completed and the State clarifies what corrective action is necessary if any to ensure the highest level of senior care to which we are committed, and we fully anticipate this matter will be resolved within the week.