Older adults are a vulnerable group of people. Their loved ones often worry for their safety and will do whatever is needed to ensure they receive a proper level of care. When Florida families make the choice to put the elder in a nursing home or assisted living facility, they trust that the caregivers will treat the elders with the same level of attention to detail as they would themselves. Sadly, that doesn’t always happen, as illustrated by a recent out-of-state trial where one man has been convicted of elder abuse and manslaughter.

The case pertained to the death of a 65 year-old man who was staying at an assisted living facility back in 2014. The man was jogging in the dark 10 miles away from the facility when he was hit and killed by a car. The patient had dementia, and prosecutors argued that the facility should not have accepted him since they were not licensed to care for patients in his condition. The state Attorney General said that the facility placed profit above the man’s safety when they accepted him.

The owner of the facility was sentenced to five years in prison, but that sentence will be suspended as long as he completes five years of formal probation. For now, he will serve 180 days in jail for the convictions of involuntary manslaughter and elder abuse. He is also forbidden to work at any adult care facility in the future.

Florida families should never have to endure the pain associated with a tragedy such as this one. Elder abuse is particularly upsetting since the elder’s loved ones often feel a sense of obligation to ensure the safety and security of their older family member. Those who have issues about the level of care that they or a loved one received from a nursing home may wish to pursue a civil claim against responsible parties. It may result in monetary compensation that can be used for future care or any outstanding expenses incurred due to improper care.