ANDOVER, Kansas – State officials say a surprise visit at the Victoria Falls Assisted Living in Andover prompted some serious abuse allegations and violations.
The state report of the facility listed “a substandard quality of care” and allegations that “staff members committed acts of abuse and neglect.”
The report all stems from a report to the Andover Police Department alleging abuse at the nursing facility.
“November 3rd of 2013, our officers took a report of abuse or neglect at the Victoria Falls Nursing Home which led us to the investigation,” said Lt. Brandon Steward, Andover Police Department.
Police took the case to the Kansas Department of Aging and Disability Services which did an unannounced survey 27 of the 63 residents at the center. Four interviews listed potential abuse.
After the state became involved, it released a 150 page report with violations and a plan to fix the problems.
The state report said that “from at least September 1st of 2013 to April 10th of 2014” there were incidents of “staff members committing acts of abuse and neglect”, and a resident was “repeatedly verbally and physically abused by another resident.”
In one case, a resident was “repeatedly abused verbally and physically by at least four staff members.”
Victoria Falls CEO released this statement to KSN saying they have “taken appropriate measures to ensure the safety of the residents, including termination and suspension of involved staff.” The statement also said “Victoria Falls Skilled Nursing is cooperating with Law Enforcement and KDADS in regards to this allegation of abuse.”
For organizations that work with aging adults, they say finding and stopping abuse should be priority.
“It’s so very important when we do have those kind of violations that everybody is extra vigilant everybody really pays attention, for every one incident we do catch are there more that are happening that we’re not catching. There are other incidents that nobody happened to see,” said Linsey Norton, Alzheimer’s Association.
The release of the report also comes with fines handed out by Centers for Medicare and Medicaid. Victoria Falls was fined $8,2000 per day between March 26 and April 13th. That adds up to $155,800, and they will be fined $1,000 per day until back in compliance.
Officials with Victoria Falls say they haven’t received copies of the alleged incident that sparked the survey, but they hope to be able to get their hands on it to be able to handle the situation properly.
According to the federal guidelines, the facility has six months to comply with the recommendations to improve conditions, or it will be terminated from the medicare program.
So what do you need to know to make sure nursing homes are safe? Start by asking the following questions:
- Is it certified?
- Does the facility do background checks on all staff?
- What kind of enrichment activities are offered?
You can also talk to state counselors who help the elderly or disabled figure out what facility is right for them.
Kansas Aging & Disability Resource Center, or call 1-855-200-ADRC(2372) to speak to an options counselor