Pennsylvania Closes Two Nursing Homes Due to Neglect of Residents

Posted on Dec 08, 2007
Residents at two nursing homes in New Freedom, Pa. will get exactly that after Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare officials closed two assisted-living facilities in early December. State officials found evidence of staff stealing Oxycodone and Vicodin and abusing heroin during official inspections at the York-area facilities.

In one home, 14 residents were without water for two weeks, something no farm animal could live without. The names of each facility -- “Always Better Care” – have been in business since 2003.

Crews from the Department of Public Welfare and the Area Agency on Aging gathered at both facilities in early December to decide where the residents would be moved. Officials arranged for all the residents of the North Third Street facility to move to one of the 35 other personal care homes in York County. One resident will be moved back home with his family. While moving, elderly residents in wheelchairs and walkers had to contend with the season’s first snowfall in the eastern part of the state. A total of 22 residents from the two homes will be transferred to other facilities.

The owner of both facilities --Michelle Kooser – would not comment when the media showed up at her front door in Shrewsbury Township. Kooser said she knew of Vicodin being stolen on once but didn’t report it to police. State inspection reports revealed one of Kooser’s employees kept her job despite repeatedly failing tests for marijuana use. When Kooser didn’t pay the water bill at one facility, the utility company shut off the water. In another instance, Kooser failed to report a resident who was injured in a fall back on Nov. 1st fall.

When police were dispatched to one of the homes just days before the state intervened, Kooser was "very agitated and out of control in front of the patients," officials said. For now, Kooser’s businesses are closed, her income has vanished and bill collectors trail her. But that’s the just the beginning of her problems. She faces legal and possibly criminal sanctions from the State and York County Police Department.

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