Home Is Where the Hurt Is

Bedsores. Medical neglect. Depression. Welcome to the bleak underworld of Miami-Dade's assisted-living facilities.

This past May the Marys busted a tiny operation run by another elderly woman who was caring for two men. “Our bad guys walk with canes,” Walters says half-joking. A 52-year-old man in a wheelchair called police to report he had been locked out of his home. When the Marys arrived on the scene, they discovered an 86-year-old man who suffered from Parkinson's disease locked inside a bedroom in the home and left unattended.

Carlos from the Carlyle believes the real villains are those who keep such a critical industry underfunded and understaffed. “About a year ago at the Carlyle, a 90-year-old man who was supposed to get his medicine at noon died at 11:00 a.m.,” Carlos relates. “Since nobody discovered his body till about 4:00 in the afternoon, it appears as though no one ever intended to give it to him.” In the end, Carlos observes, it's an uphill battle as ALFs serve a disadvantaged population. “It's old people; no one cares.”

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