Federal regulators have cited a state-run home for people with disabilities for a long list of violations, including strapping residents to chairs in front of TVs and forcing them to face a wall for hours at a time.
It was the second time in less than a year that a surprise inspection led to citations at Lakeland Village Nursing Facility in Spokane County.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services logged 54 pages of violations during the recent visit. An inspection last November resulted in more than 40,000 alleged violations.
In addition, the state Residential Care Services agency cited the facility several times this year, saying one resident was hospitalized because a nurse gave the wrong drug to the wrong person, and another patient sustained chemical burns from drinking detergent.
Lakeland Village, located west of Spokane in Medical Lake, responded to each citation with a plan of correction that included firing the nurse who gave the wrong drugs, locking up toxic chemicals and adding activities for residents.
Care at Lakeland Village prompted about a dozen protesters to stand along a road on Tuesday in front of the Developmental Disabilities Administration office in Spokane to draw attention to the conditions.
They held signs that said: “Human Beings Deserve More” and “40,000 violations and counting.”
John Lemus, organizer of the gathering, said the facility should be closed.
“I don’t think the DDA is on the ball at all. I think it’s beyond repair,” Lemus said as cars drove by beeping their horns.
David Carlson, director of the advocacy group Disability Rights Washington, also called for the closure of the state-run facility.
“Lakeland Village residents deserve so much more than the inadequate care,” he said.
John Wiley, spokesman for the state Department of Social and Health Services, said it places the highest value on the care, comfort and safety of people at its residential centers.
The agency responded promptly and diligently to fix the problems related to nursing care and quality of life of residents that were outlined in the November 2013 report and also has addressed the federal findings detailed in an October 2014 survey, Wiley said.
In response to the latest federal report, the agency fired the nursing facility administrator and named an interim administrator during recruitment for the position, he said.
The Lakeland Village website says it’s a 24-hour facility that provides all facets of training, education and health care for about 250 individuals with developmental disabilities.
It says it has an extensive day program “that involves sensory integrative and interactive techniques such as touch, pressure, massage, aromatherapy, relaxation, music, environmental controls, micro technology, audio/visual sensory stimulating activities, and movement.”
However, federal inspectors who visited the facility in September referred to repeated examples of warehousing residents and ignoring their needs.
Residents were routinely found unattended “sitting with unreleasable seatbelts on the chairs facing the television,” the report said.
One staff member dropped a basket of toys near one resident, but it was out of her reach and the staff member left. Another resident was strapped to a chair in front of a TV for hours holding only a small toy football, the report said.
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