Abuse Found in Many FL Assisted-Living Homes for Mentally Ill


Dozens of Florida assisted-living facilities are so poorly run that residents are forced to languish without crucial needs — including medication and psychiatric help — leaving their care to police and rescue workers, says the Miami Herald in an ongoing investigative series. The special homes were the state's answer to providing housing for thousands left in the streets after the historic closings of psychiatric institutions.

Ranging from small cottages in suburban neighborhoods to 350-bed complexes, the homes represent a third of assisted living facilities in the state, but account for some of the most egregious cases of abuse. “It's a cheap, easy, unregulated system of care,” said Miami-Dade Mental Health Court Judge Steve Leifman, who refuses to send people in his program to some of the homes because of dangerous and decrepit conditions.

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