A Georgia woman was arrested following a raid on a local home in connection with a nursing home she reportedly runs. The woman was charged with abuse, neglect and exploitation of disabled persons, false imprisonment, and operating a personal care home without a license.
The arrest took place earlier this month following a raid by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, Thomasville Police Department, Thomas County Sheriff’s Office and Georgia Probation at the Break Through Independent Living Center.
Investigators say the home itself is owned by a nearby church. Thomasville Police began an investigation regarding the nursing care facility nearly one month ago after a claim was made regarding a potential sexual assault. Investigators reported that they had suspected abuse and neglect at the home, and subsequently requested assistance from the GBI.
A special agent from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation said in a statement that authorities believed the abuse that took place within the home included “people  being locked in their rooms [and] tied up with belts.” The case remains under investigation.
What is noteworthy about this case is the fact that, according to the news reports, the woman was running a facility without a license. This is troubling for two reasons. First of all, and perhaps most obviously, this means that the woman may not have had the proper training necessary to run a home. Relatedly, it is more likely (particularly considering the other allegations) that she did not run her home in accordance with state requirements. Secondly, because she was not licensed, she was likely not in the state’s database. This means the home was likely not subject to regular review or inspection from the relevant regulatory board, creating additional potential for abuse to occur.
In Maryland, for example, nursing homes are monitored by the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. Additionally, nursing homes are themselves governed by the Code of Maryland Regulations, a set of strict regulations that all of the licensed nursing homes in the state must abide by. One of the requirements of the Code is that Maryland nursing homes have set policies and procedures in place in order to ensure that abuse and neglect of its residents is prevented to the extent possible. A failure to have these policies in place can potentially serve as grounds for a lawsuit against the nursing home should a violation occur.
If you suspect that an elderly friend or relative living in a nursing home or assisted living facility within the Maryland or the Washington D.C. areas might be suffering from nursing home neglect or abuse, contact the experienced nursing home abuse and neglect attorneys at Lebowitz & Mzhen Personal Injury Lawyers immediately. Our law firm has many years of experience advocating on behalf of victims who have suffered as a result of nursing home abuse or neglect within nursing homes and assisted living facilities. Contact us today in order to schedule your complimentary and confidential initial consultation. You can reach us by calling (800) 654-1949 or contact us through our website.
More Blog Posts:
Four Nursing Home Employees Accused of Spraying Nursing Home Patients with Water “For Fun”, Maryland Nursing Home Lawyer Blog, published August 8, 2013
Man Wins $1.1 Billion for Mother’s Death in Nursing Home Abuse Lawsuit, Maryland Nursing Home Lawyer Blog, published July 26, 2013