WHITFIELD COUNTY, GA (WRCB) -- State officials may soon shut down an assisted living facility in Dalton after several complaints about the center's level of care.
The Georgia Department of Community Health took a closer look at Peachtree Estates, finding multiple violations. After an investigation, DCH found a total of 22 violations at the facility.
We spoke with a woman Friday who was about to move her mother-in-law into the facility until she saw the story we aired last week. Now she is stuck with a big bill and says the parent company will not back down.
"Hopefully they'll get all these problems fixed. But harassing people that didn't even move in is not the way to go," says Sharon Evans.
Last week Evans was getting ready to move her 83-year-old mother-in-law into Peachtree Estates, until our report on the facility's violations aired. "On top of already being emotionally upset, my mother-in-law found out herself watching the news," says Evans. "She lost all her trust in her sons. This has been total turmoil for my family.
She was set to move her mother-in-law in last Saturday but her husband immediately canceled their $2,600 payment. They signed voluntary termination papers that cite her mother-in-law never moved in.
"If they uphold the contract, in that contract it reads that we will be turned over to collections if we do not follow through," she says.
"We got a memo about a year ago that said that they were no longer going to supply toilet paper because it was too costly," says Dalton attorney Greg Kinnamon.
Kinnamon is representing 15 families who have loved ones housed at Peachtree, including his mother-in-law. He reported Peachtree to the state, on complaints of poor care.
After investigating, the Department of Community Health found the facility is understaffed. It also found the staff is not adequately trained and not providing enough supervision. It also cited poor housekeeping.
Evans says staff never disclosed the findings before they signed the contract and downplayed them, once confronted. "He said, 'They're really minor. They're minor. The state's, they've came in, they've picked on a lot of little things. But we're working on correcting them. It's nothing to worry about.'"
We contacted Laurie Bebo, the President and CEO of Assisted Living Concepts, by phone. She said she was not ready for an interview at the time but promised to get back to us.
"My family just wants the closure, out of the contact, no threats form upper management in Wisconsin. You know, we want to know that it's over. And let us move on," says Evans.
Assisted Living Concepts was notified by DCH about the intent to shut down the facility on March 22nd. It had a 10-day window to respond and repeal the findings.
We have not yet heard back from the state on ALC's response or what happens next in the investigation.
DCH told Kinnamon they could not give out that information.
Thursday, May 23 2013 6:29 PM EDT2013-05-23 22:29:09 GMT
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