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State: Care facility failed to report sexual assaults of residents in Hampden Township

The Sentinel - 7/11/2018

July 11--Emeritus Corp., owner of Brookdale Grandon Farms in Hampden Township, is appealing the state Department of Human Services' decision to revoke the care facility's license after reported sexual assaults of its residents.

The department in May notified the facility that it will revoke its personal care license based on the company's failure to comply with regulation and its "gross incompetence, negligence and misconduct in operating the facility." With the ruling, no new residents may be admitted into the facility after the date of the letter, which is May 21.

The decision is based on on-site inspections at the facility at 1100 Grandon Way from November 2017 to April. Among the violations the department cites is the sexual abuse of multiple female residents in the secured dementia care unit of the facility from June 12, 2017, to July 16, 2017.

The department said in a report posted on its website that a male resident assaulted a number of female residents during that time frame. Incidents included him touching and grabbing the breasts of residents, trying to crawl or crawling into bed with them, putting his hand down their shirts, unzipping his pants and putting a resident's hand inside and grabbing a resident for a kiss.

The department said the facility did not protect its residents or report the assaults to the local area agency, nor did it report an incident in May 2017 when the same man grabbed a woman, causing a skin tear.

In that same inspection, the department also cited the facility for staff members, who are not medical professionals, administering medication to residents on multiple dates in December 2017.

For those violations, the company filed a Plan of Correction and said that its officials met with the power of attorney for the resident in question and gave her 30 days' notice to get the resident situated somewhere else. In an October 2017 letter, she indicated she could not do so until Dec. 6, though the exact date when the resident was discharged from the facility was redacted.

The plan said the executive director retrained management staff about their responsibility in reporting suspected abuse and protecting residents from injury, and employees in the report who gave out medication were removed from those duties until they had medication training documentation.

In another inspection from January 2018 that was attached in the license revocation letter, the department said it found a case in which a resident in the secure dementia care unit ingested unsecured poisonous material -- industrial-strength dishwashing liquid from the kitchen -- on Jan. 27, and was hospitalized as a result, suffering chemical injury to his/her airway. The department was not notified until three days later.

In that same report, the department found documentation of a resident who had fallen or been found on the floor 28 times from May 2017 until the resident's placement in the secure dementia unit later that year. Though the resident was labeled a fall risk and policy should have someone checking at least once every two hours, the department reported that the resident continued to fall or be found on the floor another seven times through Jan. 25 while in the dementia unit.

In an April 2018 inspection, the department discovered that a resident had made a report of suspected abuse against another resident, but that had not been reported to a local agency.

The plan of correction in most of the incidents involves re-training staff on reporting suspected abuse and protecting residents from injury, and securing poisonous materials.

With Emeritus appealing the department's decision to revoke the license, there will be an appeal hearing. The company said in a May 31 filing with the department's Bureau of Hearings and Appeals that its Plan of Correction was accepted and partially implemented with adequate progress.

"The department's decision is arbitrary and capricious in the absence of continued violations," the company said in the filing.


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