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DSS investigates another assisted living facility

READ MORE: DSS investigates another assisted living facility
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The Department of Social Services is looking into problems at a second assisted living center in New Hanover County.

Recently the state suspended new residential admissions and threatened to shutdown GlenCare of Wilmington. Now DSS is recommending a Type A penalty, the worst in that industry, for the Clare Bridge assisted living facility.

DSS says staff lost track of two patients who suffer from dementia and Alzheimer's Disease. According to the report, on February 6 a doctor visiting Clare Bridge found a resident wandering in the parking lot. On February 24 another resident went missing. This time an employee saw the patient walking outside the facility.

A spokesperson for Clare Bridge says it is working with DSS to correct the problem and, in a statement, says, "They take the safety and security of our residents seriously, which includes training staff on our elopement protocols and reviewing building standards."

Clare Bridge has until March 25 to correct the problems.

The DSS report comes as GlenCare of Wilmington, another assisted living facility, waits to find out if it will be able to stay open after several deficiencies and violations. New Hanover County DSS says that the violations suggest it might be time to reform the operating policies and procedures at assisted living facilities, and that the patients these facilities are dealing with are more complicated.

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right on target

The comments above are right on target! NC DSS isn't providing good oversight of these places at all - I know because I work in one. Alzheimer's and dementia patients need skilled nursing where their needs can be met. Memory care units aren't simply old folks with loss of memory - they have residents with severe behaviorial issues, and many are heavy care - needing to be fed, changed, etc. This is getting worse due to people living longer. DSS doesn't care a hoot about safety of these folks. Someone should start a blog where people can place comments about Assisted Living/Dementia Care Unit where the truth about these places would be revealed. Disgusting and a sad commentary on how we care for our elderly.

The Truth Revealed

This is the most succint description of the problems in Assisted Living I have ever read. Not just in NC but across the country.DSS isn't providing ANY oversight that I can see and I work in one of these facilities. Complaints ALWAYS turn out "unfounded." What does it take? Even death is overlooked. Alzheimer's and other memory care residents should be under the care of a skilled nursing facility who has trained staff to deal with high acuity. If people really knew how incapable assisted living staff are in caring for their loved ones they they would be horrified. Someone needs to break this story and bring it to the forefront - not just in NC but across the country. The big Assisted Living chains don't give a hoot about their patients - don't believe ANYTHING they provide to you. They are out to make money. Many of the directors who run these places are uneducated, untrained and simply have a NC Administrators License which is a joke. I also agree that a blog should be started where people can comment on the care at Assisted Living facilities - it would really open a lot of eyes!

Gee really DSS you think???

In my experience alot of these residents are what would normally be LTC Nursing home residents. When a resident is gerichair bound and has to be fed all meals and such they arent asst living anymore!!!! (I know Ive seen it first hand in the past) The reality is these med-techs and CNAs are in over their heads and Im glad to see at least one facility Pacifica realize that and are now hiring LPN's in there to be shift supervisors (much like RNs do in Nursing homes) to be a higher skill judge on residents needs and such and to be the conduit for medical advice between the staff and the outside medical services (MD offices and such). If more facilities like Pacifica took the right move to step up and realize that some higher nursing judgement is needed at times maybe their would be less issues for these residents. (And as a former Med Tech-SIC and now an LPN Im speaking from 100% experience on this)

I agree 100%

The problem is though that unless forced to do so, the owners of most of these place will not be willing to pay LPNs any more than they pay medtechs. It is a world of greed out there.

problem

The problem with Assisted Living Facilities is with the state of North Carolina and the rules and laws it has established for these facilities. NOONE with a diagnosis of dementia or altzheimers should even be considered for placement. They should be in a skilled facility and at the first sign of wandering should be placed in a locked unit for their own safety. Even Assisted Living Facilities should have licensed nurses on staff at ALL times. The state should also fine facilites for not hiring and maintaining adequate staff. Nurses are trained to assess medical problems, adverse drug reaction, etc. Med Techs are good, but are not trained in those areas. They are even hired in long term facilities so the owners can save money. That's what it is all about...MONEY for the owner. Our government needs to STOP the Medicare and Medicaid and insurance fraud in this country. Our elderly deserve better than they are getting. I say hold the state responsible and the owners and DSS. Someone isn't doing their job.