A disabled man found wandering the streets for days has led to the arrest of another operator of an alleged unlicensed personal care home.
The disabled man told a Richmond County sheriff’s deputy that he had been on the streets four days because he was afraid to return home to 2024 Wrightsboro Road, according to a statement from the local personal care home task force.
The Crimes Against the Vulnerable and Elderly was called in to investigate and relocated three disabled adults into qualified personal care homes, William Loomer, district attorney’s investigator and CAVE leader, wrote in a statement.
The operator of the suspected unlicensed home, Randy Gaitor, 44, is charged with the felony offense of operating an unlicensed personal care home, neglect of a disabled adult, and two counts of exploitation of a disabled adult.
Gaitor operated a licensed home at the same location until 2016. The three-bedroom, 1,728-square-foot home was licensed for six patients, according to the state’s Department of Community Health records. It was closed in 2016 after an untrained staff was left alone with three patients, it lacked fire safety, dangerous household chemicals were left in the open, and the home lacked proper documentation of patients’ medical needs, contacts and property.
The 2016 critical inspection report followed similar alarming inspection reports in 2014 and 2015. According to the Department of Community Health inspection reports and sheriff’s office reports, in 2014 Gaitor dropped off a blind, 82-year-old dementia patient at the Salvation Army. He told the sheriff’s deputy called to the scene that Adult Protective Services told him to take the patient to the shelter.
In February 2015, a 78-year-old man who was placed in Gaitor’s care by Aiken County social services was found at the VA Medical Center on 15th Street. The man had walked there using his walker. In June 2015 , two patients went missing, one of whom was found by sheriff’s officers sleeping on railroad tracks.
Gaitor is one of several people charged with operating an unlicensed personal care home after CAVE investigations. Margaret Freeman faces 26 counts of neglect and exploitation of elderly or disabled adults for the alleged operation of licensed and unlicensed homes, and April Paulk is scheduled for arraignment Friday on 12 counts of neglect and exploitation.
Reach Sandy Hodson at (706) 823-3226 or firstname.lastname@example.org