What happened at Charlotte Manor is yet another example of the mess our state's adult care system is in.
Charlotte Manor is an adult care home in the Druid Hills neighborhood. The state ordered it closed as of last Friday, and all 31 residents were transferred out last week. A Sept. 18 state inspection had found several violent, mentally ill residents were endangering other residents.
The situation is an outrage on many levels. The home and the state agency that oversees such homes have failed to protect some of the most vulnerable members of our society.
To start, adult care homes are supposed to care for frail, elderly people, not mentally ill people or people smoking crack, or people just out of jail with no place to go. Yet people with all those problems were at Charlotte Manor – endangering people who were rightly placed there.
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There's plenty of blame to go around, starting with the home's operators. State and county inspectors have documented problems with the home since late 2006, when new owners bought it. State inspection reports found repeated problems with administering medicines and providing proper meals to residents with diabetes and high blood pressure.
Yet the state has issued no fines. Why not? If regulators don't push home operators to improve, who will?
Further, two weeks passed between the Sept. 18 inspection that found residents in danger and the closing. Why the delay?
The inspection noted 58 emergency 911 calls between Jan. 1 and Sept. 15 for fights, disturbances and alcohol- and drug-related problems. Wasn't anyone paying attention?
But there's another aspect to this deplorable situation. People with schizophrenia or drug habits, those who've been homeless or are just out of jail also need safe and decent places to live. The mentally ill and people with addiction problems need care and treatment. But that care doesn't exist.
Our community and state should be ashamed. The Charlotte Manor administrator told inspectors she had been trying to discharge one violent, mentally ill resident for two months but couldn't find any place that would take him.
The mentally ill deserve proper care. The frail elderly deserve safe places to live and be treated. Right now, the state is failing both of these groups.