It is difficult to accept, but all too often nursing homes are places of abuse and neglect. Elder care facilities are expected to be professional, clean and safe institutions that care for the most vulnerable. Florida is known for its popularity amongst retirement-aged individuals. Its warm climate, agreeable humidity, and long sunny days make it highly attractive to the elderly. Many who retire cannot live on their own due to the cost or disability, and often enroll in a retirement home or village for those and other reasons.
One such place is The Villages of Lake-Sumter Inc. in Orlando, FL. Its community, which is a staggering 70,000 residents strong, however, filed a lawsuit for deplorable living conditions and mismanagement of their funds. Each resident pays monthly amenity fees, but many argue that the money did not go into upkeep or maintenance, as the owners and developers of Lake-Sumter did not keep up routine maintenance. This led to under-staffing, closed facilities, and at least one building had reports of mildew and mold on the ceiling tiles.
The retirement home has agreed to pay $40 million over thirteen years for: upkeep, maintenance, staff for recreation centers, swimming pools and other facilities that make the retirement community alluring. The settlement also gives direct compensation to several of the village’s residents, totaling $6.7 million.