Pasco Assisted Living Facility License Revoked

A New Port Richey area facility with a history of controversy has been cited for several accusations.

A New Port Richey assisted living facility has lost its license amidst accusations about its care for patients and staffing.

The state Agency for Health Care Administration revoked Hillandale Assisted Living Facility's license in an order dated April 15, the Miami Herald reports. Hillandale’s owners, Gene and Amelia Cowles, face $21,000 in fines and fees.

The agency was cited for failing to adequately staff the facility, not reporting injuries and allowing a caretaker with a history of violence to continue to work at the facility.

Orlando Baez, 59, one of the home's caretakers, faces criminal charges of  sexual battery, in connection to alleged abuses at the home.

The facility cares for youg adults with disabilities, like Annie Aponte's daughter, who has autism.

Aponte of Safety Harbor is the mother of a reported abuse victim identified in court documents, as the facility was investigated by state regulators who later revoked its license.

A facility staff member is accused of taking inappropriate photos of her daughter. Aponte said that the court documents contain details of which she was not informed.

Aponte told the Miami Herald that she wants answers about how the facility was able to break patient privacy laws and take inappropriate photos of her daughter. She also said that she wants details on where and how the photos were taken.

The state's order for the facility to close states: Hillandale “failed to provide a safe and decent environment free from abuse and neglect.” It has 30 days to move patients to a different facility.

Hillandale runs two other facilities in Tampa Bay. It was the subject of an investigation by The Miami Herald, called Neglected to Death, which showed the state had allowed scores of problem homes to remain open — sometimes for years — despite a litany of abuses.

The Miami Herald reported that some residents at the Pasco facility were "raped, beaten, drugged and locked in a dank closet."

According to the Miami Herald:

Virtually since its opening in 2005, administrators with the Agency for Persons with Disabilities, or APD, and advocates for people with disabilities and mental illness had warned the state health agency about problems at Hillandale and a related facility, Mapleway, near Clearwater.

Leo Friedman April 26, 2013 at 10:51 PM
There is absolutely an inherent lack of information and transparency around assisted living facilities online, thank you for publishing the guide. Earlier this year, we launched www.GoldenReviews.com because I believe we can improve senior care by providing invaluable insights that improve seniors' lives. Nursing homes and assisted living communities are usually a taboo subject, so the majority of families and residents simply do not post senior care reviews online. To tackle the issue, we proactively seek out families’ and residents’ experiences with nursing homes, assisted living, in home care and independent living facilities. We aim provide an inside look at over 110,000 senior care providers and we encourage you to rate it forward and share your experience.
roxanna ball July 06, 2013 at 01:51 AM
My son is a fun loving, kind hearted young man. He has been diagnosed with High Functioning Asperger's Syndrome, Persuasive Developmental Delay, Depression, and ADHD. After it had been decided by many Health Care Professionals and myself that he needed 24 hour around the clock care, he was placed into an ALF - Adult Living Facility. The fear a parent faces in having to do this huge. To hand your child over to others to care for them is heart wrenching. It does not matter the age. Our experience of my son in the facility he was in literally became a nightmare. My deepest and greatest fears came true. My son was physically, mentally, and emotionally, abused. I have to add, he was not the only one. He was witness to much abuse as well.I am coming to you as a parent who has lived their worse nightmare. I am coming to you as a mother who is saying, " Please help me to make sure no other parent has to experience what my son, my family, and myself, have lived through. I am seeking for others to join with me in asking our Administrators and our Law Makers to make changes in our Mental Health System. I am asking for policies to be changed.There is not enough protection for our family members and our children who have special needs and disabilities. We as parents, as care takers, as teachers, as case workers, have to be their voice. We are the ones who need to stand for them, to protect them, to make sure they are safe. Our Mental Health System has many loop holes in it. Our Mental Health Workers in many ALF's do not have the proper training that is needed. Many of them do not know what is considered proper treatment or not. There are many of our family members and children that have dual diagnosis. A dual diagnosis is an individual who has both mental and physical disabilities. In most ALF's there is not proper accommodations for them. The staff ratio needs to be changed. In most cases, a nurse has 4 to 6 patients. If she or he, runs themselves ragged in caring for these individuals, how is a Mental Health Care Worker to care for 10 to 20? Especially if they have a dual diagnosis? This is one change I am seeking for. I would like to see more staff in ALF's and places that care for special needs individuals.I also believe cameras should be placed in these facilities. This is to both protect the patient and the worker. If we can have cameras in stores, in buildings, in public places, why can we not have them in facilities where many are not able to speak for themselves?The last major change I believe should happen is Administrators who have allowed abuse, or them themselves caused abuse, be held to stricter laws. There needs to be more accountability to happen. In many cases, an Administrator is only fined when they have broken policy. Even, if this policy is abuse. More needs to be done than just giving them fines. They need to be held criminally accountable.I am only one voice, one person, one mother. I can yell, and I can scream, but my voice is only one. If you would join with me, we as a collective group could become a roar. Please join with me, please stand with me, please help me protect those who cannot protect themselves. Please help me save one person from experiencing what my family and I have lived through.
roxanna ball July 06, 2013 at 01:52 AM
I believed for months this administrator had a DR title ,to find out he didn't !


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