Rose Delaney, who heads the mental health consumers Florida Peer Network, suggested several of the owners and their supporters step down so that consumers and family members can take their place.
I have had the opportunity to visit some of the facilities across the state, and have wondered why we have allowed this to go on, Delaney said in a statement read by a colleague while she is recovering at home from an illness. Think of how a frail senior must feel when being mistreated. Is this how we should allow them to have to live their final years?
Delany said she has lived in a state psychiatric hospital, and had even been homeless before recovering from mental illness. Referring to a homeless shelter, she added: The difference being it was clean, I didnt have to worry about being abused or taken advantage of, and, yes, if something did happen with one of the other residents, I was not afraid to say something.
Larry Sherberg, a panel member who owns the Lincoln Manor ALF in Hollywood, disputed that residents have no protection from retaliation, and suggested owners often discharge residents because they present a risk to other residents who cant defend themselves. Sherberg called it ironic that volunteer ombudsmen take the side of residents who are being forced out, even if it means leaving others in peril.
The comment made Storms practically jump from her seat.
The industry routinely, routinely objected to providing safety for existing residents, the Valrico Republican said. She told the story of a 90-year-old woman who had been raped at an ALF in her Tampa Bay district, and how family members pressed her for legislation requiring owners to screen their residents to weed out potential violence a measure the industry fought.
The industry did what? Zero, she said. This is an attack on the ombudsmen I cannot let stand.