Thomas Goldsmith of the Raleigh News & Observer reported a story chronicling the growing issues of a Cleveland County North Carolina adult living facility. The nursing home located in Fallston, North Carolina has been the center of several nursing home abuse scandals since July of 2006. It is now being asked to stop accepting new residents.
The adult living facility is called Unique Living, although it previously went by the name of Yelton’s Assisted Living. For the last two years, both county and state regulators have investigated the nursing home. Suspicions mounted in 2006 when the body of a missing 59-year-old resident was found behind the living facility six days after his disappearance. Before that incident, one senior was killed after being scalded in a hot bath while another patient died from choking on a sandwich. Apart from the nursing home deaths, a convicted sex offender resident was accused of raping a fellow resident. In general, the facility has been the site of a number of state violations, complaints, and patient injuries.
Some adult-care residents are forced to intermingle with severely mentally ill patients who are housed in trailers adjacent to the nursing home, which is cause for concern. In addition, the nursing home is having financial difficulties that have led to utility disconnections and generally unsafe living conditions.
In an unprecedented action, Cleveland County has asked the state to take over operations of the privately owned center. Specifically, Cleveland County social services director John Wasson has written a letter to adult licensure chief Barbara Ryan outlining the county’s concerns and asking for the takeover action. The state has fined the nursing home for abuse and neglect violations in the past, but has never taken further action against the owners.