State suspends license of Merritt Island assisted living facility



MERRITT ISLAND, Fla. - Channel 9 has learned the owner of a central Florida assisted living facility has hired a lawyer to fight an emergency suspension order that requires it to close in the next 48 hours.

In January, firefighters responding to a 911 call at Yan Yan Healthcare on Merritt Island about a patient who had fallen out of bed, said they found no staff on the property looking after patients.
Channel 9 has tried to talk to the owner about what's been going on inside the home, and so far has gotten no response.

As of Monday evening, officials said only one resident was still living in the facility. Workers said they were working with the Department of Children and Families to find a new place for that person.

Channel 9 has learned the owner, who only speaks mandarin Chinese, has hired a lawyer to fight the emergency suspension order.

"It's shocking and scary to think that these people aren't being cared for and this could be happening somewhere else," said Vickie Allen, whose father was a patient at the facility.
Allen said she has moved her father out of Yan Yan Healthcare. She said he's blind and needs to be watched.
According to Allen, learning that perhaps her father didn't always have someone watching out for him was unnerving.

"Initially it's shock and horror at the same time. You think you're doing something that you should be doing for your parent and find out (the facility is) breaking every rule possible," said Allen.
State health officials said they are suspending the facility's license and called the facility a direct and immediate threat to the health or safety of its residents.
They started investigating the home in January after the firefighters' report.
Officials said they kept watch on the facility and found residents were left unsupervised several times, or were being watched by people who weren't qualified to care for them.

In one instance a state report said a family member was left in charge, even though they weren't certified and workers never checked the family member's criminal history.
The records Channel 9 received from the state show some residents didn't even have the proper paperwork to live at the home.

According to the documents, the facility's license will be suspended on Feb. 12 and no new patients can be admitted in the meantime.