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Sunset Lake Village Assisted Living Facility in Venice, Florida – 2017 Complaints, Deficiencies and Lawsuit – Year in Review by Assisted Living Facility Neglect Lawyer James Edwin Keim

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Sunset Lake Village assisted living facility is located in Venice, Florida.  As an assisted living facility neglect lawyer, I review and try to keep tabs on area ALFs to determine how they are performing.  Sunset Lake Village is a 110 bed for-profit assisted living facility located at 1121 Jacaranda Boulevard, Venice, Florida 34292.  Sunset Lake Village assisted living facility is part of a chain of assisted living facilities.  It is operated by Holiday Retirement out of Lake Oswego, Oregon.  In addition to assisted living care and assistance, Sunset Lake Village is licensed to provide limited nursing services to its residents.  Other than Sunset Lake Village, Holiday Retirement operates assisted living facilities locally in Port Charlotte, elsewhere in Florida and in several other states.  Assisted living facilities in Florida range from small operations that house just a few residents to large multi-building campuses.   They may be local “mom and pop” operations or run by major corporations that are located out of state.  Of course, these factors may have an impact on the quality of care that is delivered to the residents.

State of Florida Investigators Cite Sunset Lake Village for Two Class III Deficiencies upon Concluding a March, 2017 Inspection in Venice, Florida

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An unannounced re-licensure survey investigation was conducted at Sunset Lake Village assisted living facility in Venice, Florida in early March, 2017.  At that time, investigators with the Florida Agency for Healthcare Administration reviewed records, made observations and interviewed staff at the assisted living facility.  All assisted living facilities in Florida are required to meet certain staffing standards in accordance with Florida Administrative Code section 58A.  These state staffing standards include a requirement that all ALF staff be tested annually to ensure that they do not possess any communicable diseases that could be easily spread to the elderly population of residents at the assisted living facility.  A further requirement is that administration maintain documentation in each employee’s file that reflects such testing was done and that the ALF worker is free of communicable disease.  Florida investigators reviewed a sample of three (3) employee files and found that one out of the three files failed to contain this necessary information.  Sunset Lake Village was cited in violation of law and issued a Class III deficiency. Many people incorrectly assume that licensed or registered nurses handle and assist residents of Florida assisted living facilities with their medications.  The truth is that “medication technicians” routinely perform this task at Sunset Lake Village and other assisted living facilities throughout Florida.  “Med Techs” are usually aids who have attended a 4-hour medication training and receive 2 hours of continuing education on an annual basis.  Many of these aids do not have a college degree and speak English as a second language.  Sunset Lake Village assisted living facility was also cited for a Class III deficiency for failing to “ensure staff who provide assistance with self-administered medications obtain annually a minimum of 2 hours of continuing education training on providing assistance with self-administered medications and safe medication practices in an assisted living facility.”  In a review of three personnel files, state investigators concluded that one out of three staff members had not attended the 2-hour continuing education training on providing assistance with self-administered medications.

In 2017, At Least One Lawsuit was Filed in Sarasota County Circuit Court Alleging Negligence and Resident Rights Violations at Sunset Lake Village

On February 13, 2017, the estate of a deceased former resident of Sunset Lake Village assisted living facility filed a complaint and lawsuit against the former administrator and limited liability company that holds the license to operate the assisted living facility known as Sunset Lake Village.  The complaint also named another limited liability company, Holiday AL NIC Management, LLC, as a defendant in the case. The facts alleged in the complaint indicate, among other things, that the staff at Sunset Lake Village failed to provide adequate supervision and assistance to the resident, and as a result, he fell multiple times at the assisted living facility and ultimately suffered a fracture to his left humerus.  The complaint involving Sunset Lake Village further alleges that the companies that operated the ALF failed to properly train staff, failed to monitor significant signs and symptoms of changes in his condition and respond to those changes, and failed to act reasonably in his care.  The Estate alleges that Sunset Lake Village and its corporate managers, operators and staff violated the resident’s rights of the decedent and that, as a direct result of those resident rights violations, this elderly gentleman died. Florida law guarantees that residents of assisted living facilities have the right to be free from abuse and neglect, the right to have access to adequate and appropriate healthcare, and the right to live in a safe, clean and decent living environment.  Unfortunately, falls and fractures in assisted living facilities are an all too common occurrence and may result from a lack of supervision and assistance that is required to protect and keep the elderly individual safe from harm.  An assisted living facility has an obligation to provide enough staff to assist and meet the needs of the residents it has accepted into its care.  A lack of trained staff should never be tolerated.  If you have concerns about a relative or loved one at Sunset Lake Village assisted living facility, speak up.  Ask to sit down with their executive director and resident care coordinator and bring a witness.

Medication Errors and Falls Leading to Fractures are a Risk in Florida Assisted Living Facilities

Frequently, I am asked what constitutes the most significant risk to residents of assisted living facilities in Florida.  As a Florida assisted living facility neglect and abuse lawyer, I see a variety of problems and issues arising in ALFs that can potentially lead to serious harm and even death.  Not enough staff and a lack of supervision can lead to falls, fractures, other serious health complications and even death.  In fact, the leading cause of death in the United States for persons over the age of 65 is falling.  Medication errors are another cause for concern.  If you are in the process of admitting a loved one to an assisted living facility and have these concerns, do not hesitate to address them at the time of admission with the facility resident care coordinator or administrator.  Be sure that your loved one is assessed regularly by a physician and immediately after there is any perceived change in the resident’s health, behavior or physical or cognitive status.  Such changes, if allowed to go undetected, could lead to medication errors or the failure to receive medications altogether.

Call Assisted Living Facility Neglect and Abuse Lawyer James Edwin Keim at (844) 485-7600 for Answers to Your Questions – A Free and Confidential Consultation.

As a lawyer, I concentrate my practice on handling cases of assisted living facility and nursing home neglect and abuse throughout Florida with a focus on those facilities located in Sarasota, Charlotte, Lee and Manatee Counties.  My office is located at 4140 Woodmere Park Boulevard, Venice, Florida 34293, and our local telephone number is (941) 485-7600.  All cases are handled on a contingency fee and cost basis – no fees or costs unless a recovery is made.  I am always happy to provide a free, confidential consultation.  If you have questions about complaints at Sunset Lake Village assisted living facility in Venice, Florida or another Florida assisted living facility or nursing home, please feel free to give me a call.  Photographs and text copyright James Edwin Keim © 2017.  All Rights Reserved.

                    James Keim