More than 30 people are being forced to move out of a northern Minnesota senior home after state health regulators took the unusual action of suspending the facility’s license.
Chappy’s Golden Shores, an assisted-living facility near Grand Rapids, Minn., had its comprehensive home care license suspended this week for 90 days based on “serious alleged violations” found during a state investigation, according to a statement from the Minnesota Department of Health, which regulates senior care facilities and home care providers.
“Our regulatory staff took swift action after gathering information that indicated the situation posed an imminent risk to the health, safety and dignity of the clients served by this provider,” Minnesota Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm said in a statement Friday.
Starting Thursday, social workers from multiple counties and local law enforcement agencies arrived at Chappy’s Golden Shores to help move residents to other care facilities in the surrounding area. As of Friday afternoon, only about six residents remained at the facility, which cannot operate without a license to provide home care, said staff members.
Jenifer Drieman, a home health aide at Chappy’s, said the 22-year-old facility in Hill City, Minn., had an unusual and diverse mix of older residents along with younger people with mental health problems. People living at the facility had a wide range of health conditions, including Alzheimer’s disease, schizophrenia, depression and personality disorders, she said. Ages of the residents ranged from their early 30s to 90.
“When other people or facilities could not stand or were not willing to take them, they came here,” Drieman said. “Because we are willing to work with them and give them another chance. That’s the kind of people we had here.” She said some of the older residents were crying as they were being removed from the facility.
In a January survey of the facility, Health Department investigators identified more than a dozen violations of state law. These included a failure to set up medications properly; inadequate supervision of staff providing direct care; failure to ensure annual training in dementia care; and improper client record-keeping, among others. All the violations were identified as having the potential to harm a resident’s health or safety but were not likely to cause serious injury or death, according to the survey.
The Health Department plans to continue its investigation and “take follow-up actions as appropriate,” according to Malcolm’s statement.