Gastonia home gives state its plan to improve to avoid losing license

Rosewood Assisted Living in Gastonia has responded to the state's intent to revoke the home's license following a report of an attempted rape.

The correction plan is being evaluated and a decision will be made next week, according to Jim Jones, spokesman for the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services.

Last month, the department investigated the home at 721 N. Marietta St. after a man was charged with the attempted rape of an 89-year-old woman. The home, licensed by the state for 48 beds, was ordered to stop admitting residents.

A review by state investigators found that “conditions at the home are found to be detrimental to the health and safety of the residents.”

In a June 5 letter to Barbara Ryan, chief of the state's Adult Care Licensure Section, Rosewood administrator Linda Lancaster listed changes that had been implemented at the home.

She wrote: “We care for and provide a home for residents who would otherwise be homeless. Individuals are being discharged from mental hospitals back into the public without proper guidance to enable them to be a viable citizen in the community or an assisted living setting. We provide a service to the people who are refused care from the newer homes in Gaston County.”

Changes include:

Hiring a new administrator experienced in dealing with mentally ill residents.

A psychiatrist has checked residents who displayed aggressive or at-risk behaviors.

Staff training has been provided on behavioral issues and schizophrenia.

Staff training on dementia has been scheduled for June 30.

A mental health case manager will provide a crisis prevention-response plan. At-risk residents will have a one-on-one case worker. No at-risk resident will be admitted without a case manager.

The home's registered nurse has completed new care plans, identified all people with at-risk behaviors and noted specific intervention steps for each one.

The assisted living home had 39 patients, and 26 had diagnoses that included mental illness.

Examples cited in the state's review of the facility included a patient making inappropriate sexual advances toward a staff member and resident, telling the staff he had trouble controlling sexual urges, reading pornographic magazines and frequently talking about sex.

Jones said that if the facility's plan is accepted, adult care staff will return to the home on an unannounced visit to verify improvements.