Most people identify the elderly as being the victims of abuse and neglect in a skilled nursing environment. But when it is reported that a nursing home is under investigation for burning a physically and mentally impaired foster child, it is a travesty.
Today, the Miami Herald reported that three state agencies and Miami-Dade police were investigating how second-degree burns were found on a 12-year-old girl living in the Florida Club Care Center. The girl, who is a foster child, suffers from severe cerebral palsy, is unable to communicate and is completely dependent on others for activities of daily living. The burns were found on her hand and thigh, according to the Child Protection Team, a group of University of Miami doctors and nurses.
The case also is being investigated by the Department of Children & Families (DCF) and the Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA). AHCA, a nursing home regulator, claims there was no evidence of mistreatment toward the girl.
In a letter to Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, Child Protection Team representative and pediatrician Michael D. Strong wrote “We fear that the potential risk for further harm of the other residents in the nursing home facility is high and that little to nothing is being done in response.”
However, a recent AHCA inspection of the facility showed high marks for quality of care and quality of life as well as nutrition and hydration, patient dignity, the prevention of pressure sores, and limiting the use of physical restraints.
For now, the DCF investigation into the girl’s injuries remains open.