Waxahachie, TX (Law Firm Newswire) November 8, 2013 - The Texas attorney general has moved to close several alleged unlicensed assisted living facilities, including one in Tarrant County.
The state filed a lawsuit in Tarrant County civil court against a man and the nonprofit organization he founded after the man refused to allow state investigators with the Department of Aging and Disability Services into a Richland Hills home. The state won a temporary restraining order against the facility.
“Our seniors deserve top-notch care at Texas assisted living facilities, and that is only possible when the facilities are properly licensed,” said John D. Hale, a Waxahachie elder law attorney.
Richland Hills officials said it appeared that the residents had already been moved out of the home. The owner is not required to report where the residents are now living, according to state officials. The owner of the home denied any wrongdoing and said that the home was a “boarding facility,” which he claimed does not require a license.
The home came to the attention of the authorities after paramedics responded to a 911 call and discovered people living there who were not able to fully care for themselves. According to the lawsuit filed by the state, an assisted living facility is defined as an establishment that offers food, shelter, and personal care services such as administering medication, to four or more people. Officials said that the 911 call was placed about five hours after a resident was found to be unresponsive, and the man died later in hospice care.
The state attorney general also moved against three assisted living facilities in the Houston area. According to state officials, three homes in Cypress have already been closed, but three more in Katy are now targeted for closure. There have been complaints of serious medical neglect of the residents, unsanitary conditions, and insufficient sleeping, bathing and toilet facilities for the number of residents.
Overall, the state is attempting to shut down more than 15 unlicensed assisted living facilities and keep more from opening up.
“Part of the reason for the licensing requirement is to keep problems like what is alleged in these cases from happening,” said Hale.
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