WLRN, Miami Herald expose problems in Florida’s assisted living facilities

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“Neglected to Death,” an investigative reporting series launched by WLRN-FM and the Miami Herald this week, uncovered problems in the regulation of Florida’s assisted living facilities, including questionable deaths and cases of abuse and neglect of the elderly and mentally ill. The investigative team built a database that expanded upon incomplete and missing records from the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration;the computer-assisted reporting allowed the team to piece together detailed histories of assisted living facilities and identify the most troubled homes. The Herald reports details of how the investigative reporting was done in this story; its multimedia reporting package is here.

“Florida remains a retirement destination for tens of thousands of our nation’s elderly,” says Dan Grech, WLRN Radio news director. “This series has important national implications about how we care for one of our county’s most vulnerable populations.”

NPR ran the first installment of the series on Morning Edition today. The 7-minute report focuses on the questionable death of Aurora Navas, an Alzheimer’s patient who was a resident of Isabel Adult Care III, a six-bed assisted living facility in Southern Miami-Dade County, when she drowned.