State closes Greenbank care facility over hygiene

In late April, investigators from Residential Care Services from the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services descended upon Ledgewood Family Home and found a trail.

That trail led to unsanitary conditions, declining health of residents and enough violations to revoke Ledgewood's license and prohibit the home from admitting new patients.

According to a statement of deficiency from Residential Care Services, investigators showed up at Ledgewood for an unannounced inspection at the house located in a residential area off of Highway 20 north of Greenbank. Upon entering the house, investigators noticed an 18-inch cardboard barrier that the licensee, Beatrice Atkison, said was used to keep her cats from going to the patients' bedrooms.

After removing the barrier, investigators noticed a trail of human feces going from bedroom of a former resident to a bathroom, according to the report.

When investigators visited the room of the resident who moved out several days earlier, they found the carpet had not been cleaned and still had a strong fecal and urine odor, as well as pieces of feces and urine stains on it.

According to the report, Atkison explained the room's condition by saying "the family has to replace the carpet. I can't clean that! He went all over. I kept telling him to sit down so he wouldn't make a mess."

The report stated that investigators found the conditions at Ledgewood caused the current resident to be living in unsanitary conditions, having poor hygiene, dealing with possible weight loss and being socially isolated. It further stated that a former resident didn't receive care for bowel and bladder incontinence and for being at risk from complications of receiving the wrong dose of insulin.

Despite repeated attempts, Atkison would not return phone calls for comment.

In addition to the unsanitary conditions, investigators reported that the current resident had been "chemically restrained" and didn't report behaviors to the physician and caused her to be isolated in her room.

The report also stated that Ledgewood Family Home failed to obtain proper assessments for the residents.

Residential Care Services, the state entity responsible for adult care homes, received a complaint on April 14 stating residents' care needs weren't met and was being neglected and that the family deserved a refund. Now that the license has been revoked, Atkison has until June 18 to appeal the decision.

Although Ledgewood's license is revoked, one residents currently resides at the home.

Bob McClintock, regional administrator for Residential Care Services, said that a person is able to care for one vulnerable adult without a license. As of May 27, the resident was still living at the unlicensed home, McClintock said.

If Atkison doesn't appeal the revocation, then it stands. Although it applies only to Ledgewood Family Home, McClintock said the woman wouldn't be able to apply for a new license if she wanted to start another adult family home.

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