CINTRONELLE, Ala. (WALA) - Some families of residents at the Citronelle Assisted Living Facility said they were shocked to learn they had only 48 hours to find new living arrangements for their loved ones.
Health officials ordered an emergency shutdown after an investigation into the facility's operations.
"There were inappropriate residents who were requiring a higher level of care than assisted living is authorized to provide," said Dr. Walter Geary, Bureau Director of Health Provider Standards. "There were problems with doctor's orders and medication administration."
The investigation, state health officials said, began after an incident that happened last month.
Authorities said an elderly resident wandered away from the facility, wearing only adult diapers. Investigators said the man got to the street, fell over and hit his head, prompting drivers to swerve around him.
Police claim both employees that night were on break at the same time. One of the facility's owners, however, claims they were attending to a sick patient and did not realize the resident wandered outside.
The owner told FOX10 the facility does not lock residents inside because they are 'assisted living.'
Health officials said several residents had severe dementia and required higher medical care.
The small facility only holds 16 residents; however, 12 were living there at the time.
Larry Meadows said he drove 10 hours from Vero Beach, Fla. to pickup his 83year old mother.
"They just basically said that they have their orders and these were emergency conditions and it was for the patient's safety," said Meadows.
Meadows said the facility has always taken great care of his mother.
In fact, he said his mother was transferred to the facility after her previous assisted living residence, called Whitten's Country Haven, was also shutdown last year.
He said state health officials told him they would post their investigation findings online at www.adph.org . The records will be posted under the healthcare facilities tab; then click the healthcare facility deficiencies tab.
Federal authorities say an Alabama man has been charged in a slaying at an Army post in southeast Georgia, but officials are releasing few details about the case.
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