An Indiana woman and her son have been arrested for criminal recklessness and neglect in an unlicensed nursing home that they were running. Reportedly the 64-year-old woman and her son, who is 35, were running the business out of their home in Greenfield. They reportedly were living in part of duplex and keeping patients in the other part of the residence.
The unlicensed facility apparently had not been inspected because it was considered a private residence and housed a small number of people. Allegedly, the facility required private payment. Had it accepted Medicare or Medicaid payments, there would have been some oversight required. The conditions in the facility were reported by a hospice nurse who filed a complaint after she visited it in November.
When Adult Protective Services investigators went to the site, they reportedly found people locked in their rooms and confined to their bed with metal dog gates. The woman who ran the facility claimed that the patients' families gave permission for the gates in order to keep the patients from falling out of bed. However, investigators say that they weren't sufficient to even do that.
Further, according to documents filed with the court, the rooms had no cameras, intercoms or call buttons to alert staff in case of an emergency. Patients were reportedly left alone for hours on end and there were no records of medications being provided to patients.
It was not reported whether the people who allowed their family members to live in such conditions bear any criminal responsibility. Obviously, this isn't the norm for cases of nursing home abuse or neglect. Most of these cases involve licensed facilities that fail to provide adequate care.
However, elderly people or those who aren't able to care for themselves deserve a certain standard of care. Those who fail to provide it can and should be held criminally and potentially civilly liable.
Source: IndyStar.com, "Mother, son arrested at makeshift nursing home," Nov. 24, 2015