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Personal care home under scrutiny

Monday, Sept. 1, 2014 3:29 PM
Last updated 8:48 PM
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A warrant to search a four-bedroom home in Hephzibah suspected of serving as an unlicensed personal care home for 18 people was issued recently.

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According to a civil petition filed in Richmond County Superior Court, an auditor had a tip that some of the residents were forced to sleep on the floor in the house, which lacked air-conditioning.

In addition, the auditor had information indicating a wheelchair-bound person was wheeled outside to be bathed by use of an outside hose.

The petition was against Tamika Burns, who was suspected of operating an unlicensed personal care home on Anthony DeJuan Parkway.

The petition was filed by a compliance auditor with the Georgia Department of Community Health, Healthcare Facility Regulations Division. After receiving a complaint on July 11, the auditor spoke to two developmentally disabled people who had lived in the home, according to the complaint.

The auditor reported she tried to inspect the home on July 31, but Rickey Stephenson, who is allegedly in business with Burns, told the auditor she needed a warrant to enter the home. The warrant was granted on Aug. 14.

Burns had applied for a license to operate Caring 4 U personal care home at the same Anthony DeJuan Parkway home. Burns had managed a personal care home in Hephzibah until July 13, when the three patients were evicted because the owner of the house defaulted on the mortgage, according to the petition.

Burns reopened the home at the Anthony Dejuan Parkway location around July 10, 2013, and applied for a license to care for four patients. The home failed two inspections and Burns’ application for a license was denied on Nov. 5, 2013.

A spokeswoman for the Georgia Department of Community Health said the department will not comment about any possible open investigations.

District Attorney Ashley Wright said she hasn’t been advised of any possible action in connection with the home on Anthony DeJuan Parkway.

A new law that went into effect in July increases the potential punishment for operating an unlicensed personal care home.

A prosecutor can petition to have the home declared a nuisance. A first offense is still a misdemeanor, but if there is abuse, neglect or exploitation, the crime is treated as a felony punishable by one to 10 years in prison.

In Cobb County, a woman who operated an unlicensed home pleaded guilty to multiple felony charges this year. Raequel Penny was sentenced in July to 10 years in prison followed by 10 years probation, according to the Circuit Court Clerk’s Web page.

According to a recent story in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation is renewing its efforts to crack down on unlicensed personal care homes, starting with a list of some 30 operators considered to be the worst offenders.

The GBI is co-sponsoring a training event in October for law enforcement officers and prosecutors, according to the Journal-Constitution story.

The Department of Community Health has a searchable Web site for personal care homes and other types of community care facilities. Anyone can go to the site to see if a home is licensed and read recent inspection reports.

If anyone has a complaint about a possible unlicensed home, or has concerns about a patient’s health or safety, it can be reported on the Web site. To make an anonymous report, one must call the department at (800) 878-6442. The Web site is dch.georgia.gov.

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useful
695
Points
useful 09/01/14 - 04:00 pm
4
0
it is sad to see older people

it is sad to see older people treated this way. and by the way this address is not in Hephzibah.it is in augusta.

nocnoc
42682
Points
nocnoc 09/01/14 - 05:07 pm
5
0
It in the OLD TOWN & COUNTRY Subdiv.

Hephzibah should demand its OWN, zip code
so the crime stats are not fudged for Augusta Ga.

Right now it is a Blame it on Hephzibah even tho this was 5 miles from the Hephzibah city limits.

IT WAS IN THE CONSOLIDATED AUGUSTA AREA

Pops
8544
Points
Pops 09/01/14 - 05:37 pm
4
1
The Southside

is booming.......

Graymare
3210
Points
Graymare 09/01/14 - 05:45 pm
4
1
Greedy, disgusting owners!

Greedy, disgusting owners! God's watching y'all rotten people!!! At the least, if each person got $600 a month social security that totals to $10,800!! Wait till the owners get old and/or sick and they'll be at a caregiver's mercy!!

hoptoad
9824
Points
hoptoad 09/01/14 - 05:51 pm
6
1
It is shameless how much

It is shameless how much these elder care homes cost - they take everything you own and don't give you any more than you'd get than if you just rented a room from someone.

I hope I go quickly and never have to go into one of these, a park bench would be better.

AFjoe
2995
Points
AFjoe 09/02/14 - 07:46 am
2
0
All not bad

My mother has been in a "hospital like" nursing home before and now she is in a personal care home. There is a hugh difference in the way she is treated and loved in the home. It has been a true blessing & the best thing to happen to her since she turned 80.

hoptoad
9824
Points
hoptoad 09/02/14 - 09:16 am
3
0
Your mother is lucky, AF, my

Your mother is lucky, AF, my mother is living in a home in Oregon and my sister reports that it is very nice, well run and she is taken care of so there are a few good ones around.

It just seems the bad ones outnumber the good ones.

nocnoc
42682
Points
nocnoc 09/02/14 - 12:28 pm
3
0
My 89 y/o Mother-in-law

Lives with us.

We practice "Family takes care of Family at home".

An we will until it requires a hospital level nursing home.

But unlike too many that toss their hands up when theirs parents
reach 70, or 80+, We planned years ahead to care for our family
members.

whyme
1812
Points
whyme 09/02/14 - 12:35 pm
4
0
not just the old folks

Likely this home was not just for the elderly but for the mentally ill. Many of them have no family or ability to clearly stand up for themselves, at times almost worse than the older folks who have good minds but are unable to perform self-care skills and thus need a home. We want our mentally ill off of the streets and out of our way-this is what happens when no one cares.

jimmymac
39881
Points
jimmymac 09/02/14 - 01:41 pm
0
0
ANIMAL
Unpublished

The man and woman that ran this horrible place are nothing but animals. To threat old people in such a despicable way should warrant a long prison sentence. Good God what has become of respect for the elderly?

hoptoad
9824
Points
hoptoad 09/02/14 - 03:12 pm
2
0
Family taking care of family

My mother is 93 and still pretty spry, but has a little trouble seeing and hearing which makes it difficult for her to go anywhere without help.

Over the years, my two sisters and I have taken turns caring for her in our homes, but she needed to go into a home where she could be monitored a little more.

allhans
23663
Points
allhans 09/02/14 - 06:36 pm
1
0
It would be a good thing if

It would be a good thing if every patient had family members in and out, but not everybody is lucky enough to have people who cares.

corgimom
32563
Points
corgimom 09/02/14 - 09:09 pm
0
0
Many elderly become so ill

Many elderly become so ill that they need round-the-clock skilled nursing.

And that is not a slur against the families. Very few families can provide that 24 hour nursing care, and that is not their fault.

And nobody can "plan ahead" for severe illnesses in the elderly, it just happens.

Some elderly are healthy enough to live at home, and that's good. But over half of them need skilled nursing care for the last few years of their life.

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