Frances Howell, the owner of Howell House, an assisted living facility in DeFuniak Springs, has had her nursing license suspended by the Florida Department of Health for abusing a 70-year-old resident of the home in July of last year.
The health department issued an emergency license suspension stating the 68-year-old Howell used force against the elderly woman when she pulled her off a chair by the back of her pants and then removed the chair from behind the woman. The resident stood for a few moments on her own, and then fell backward to the floor, suffering bruises and a back strain in the fall.
The suspension order states Howell’s “decision to deliberately cause the woman to fall… demonstrates such a complete lack of care and concern for the health, safety or welfare of her patient that the safety of any of Ms. Howell’s patients cannot be assured as long as she continues to practice nursing.”
According to an employee at the home who taped the incident at Howell’s command, Howell wanted the victim removed from the home because of her declining health. The former employee also informed investigators that employees were told by Howell they were not to assist the victim with bathroom needs on several occasions, and added because of Howell’s treatment of the elderly, he did not think she should be caring for elderly patients.
Howell was arrested in November and charged with abusing an elderly person. She has pleaded guilty to the charge and her pretrial hearing is set for February 21.
Original article can be read here.