State wants to fine and revoke Dade City assisted-living facility license

State wants to fine and revoke Dade City assisted-living facility license (Image 1)

The Florida Agency for Health Care Administration is moving to revoke the assisted-living facility license of the 200 bed Edwinola Retirement Community in Dade City following a scathing review of a murder, suicide and four runaway dementia patients at the facility last month.

“An ALF license is a public trust and a privilege,” not an entitlement,”AHCA’s order states.

Edwinola’s owner, George Wagner III tells Eight on Your Side he disagrees wit the state’s intent to revoke his license and will appeal that decision.

“We are confident when all is said and done, we will remain in business for a long time serving the people of our community,” Wagner said in a statement released late Tuesday. The state is giving the Edwinola 21 days to file a formal response. An appeal could drag out for months. Meanwhile, the Edwinola is under a state-ordered Moratorium that prohibits admission of any new residents.

The beating death of a dementia patient in April by another dementia patient set in motion an intense state review of the facility and how it treats patients. Investigators have fined Edwinola $28,000 in addition to moving to revoke its license. Investigators claim the facility failed to supervise residents, failed to provide a safe living environment, failed to properly manage staff and provided mental health care without a license.

Last month’s violent deaths at the facility and the state’s actions now have some residents and their families reeling in disbelief.

“It makes you wonder what’s going to happen next,” said 90-year-old resident Della Gray. “It’s horrible and its kinda scary because you wonder if you want to stay here or not.”

Gray’s daughter Janice Hawkins says she’s been complaining about her mother’s care for two years to facility administrators and AHCA. “She’s gone without food, she’s gone without medicines that were not given to her,” Hawkins said.

Gray says as recently as Sunday night and Monday morning Edwinola’s staff neglected to feed her. “They were supposed to bring it,” Gray said. “I just made some toast and warmed up some soup.” 

Edward Couch says his father residents in the dementia ward where two people died last month. Like Hawkins, he isn’t sure where to find another affordable assisted-living facility for his parent, but sure isn’t comfortable with his father at the Edwinola.

“I don’t like it,” said Couch.”I’m very deeply angry, I’m very deeply concerned about my father.

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