Volusia nursing facility added to state's watch list



DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - For many it isn't easy to find the right nursing home for aging parents or grandparents. Florida has a state agency that keeps track of those facilities.

Channel 9's Lori Brown learned why five more Florida nursing homes, including one in Volusia County, have been newly flagged on the state's watch list.

Mary Howard said she trusts Emory L Bennett Memorial Veterans Nursing Home in Daytona Beach to care for her loved one.

Howard's 83-year-old husband, who suffers from dementia, is one of its more than 100 residents.

"My husband's been here over two years, and I have no complaints," said Howard.

But the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration recently found a significant problem. They said a resident did not receive doctor-ordered treatment for over a month, leaving the resident in pain.

"A simple procedure could have prevented that pain for him, and anguish," said Brian Lee of Families for Better Care.

It is not the first time the facility has been cited.

In 2010, records show the temperature in residents' rooms was as high as 86 degrees.

A resident revealed there had been no air conditioning in his room for three months, saying it "has been oppressive."

Residents also complained about the "apathetic response of facility staff."

The report said one resident did not have an appetite because his room was so hot and that an inspector saw a lunch tray still in front of the resident at 3 p.m. and that the food had not been touched.

"These are people. They suffered," said Lee.

Lee, the former ombudsman for the state of Florida, is working to bring attention to the watch list.

"They deserve better from the nursing homes that take care of them," said Lee.

A spokesperson for the facility said it has corrected the problems.

The state will keep it on the watch list until 2015.