Investigation into Mesa assisted living center continues

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Caitlin McGlade is an investigative data reporter for The Arizona Republic and azcentral.com. She has filed another installment in her investigative series about senior living and assisted living centers in Arizona.

From this report: A Mesa assisted living center, Heritage Village, continued to make mistakes that endangered residents even after a woman with dementia killed her roommate. Heritage Village has racked up more citations than any other facility in Arizona.

“There’s a situation that actually flew under the state’s radar, in which a resident had given a woman a black eye and then two days later, ended up, at night, beating up another resident. The staff tried to intervene and ended up not being able to. The resident was hiding in the bathroom with the woman that he had hurt, then continued to go out into the common area and hit another person. The police show up at this scene. The music’s blaring, there’s a woman screaming and the employees told the officers that the guy had actually hurt somebody two days prior and they didn’t do anything about it. They didn’t tell anybody. They also didn’t report it, it seems to anybody other than the police. The state had no record of it,” McGlade said.

McGlade learned that the man who had been hurting people wasn’t inherently dangerous. Instead, his medication had been skipped for many days.

Heritage Village received 148 state citations over the past three years. That’s 2.5 times more than any other assisted living center licensed to serve residents who need the most help and supervision. Most others in Arizona had no more than a couple of dozen citations. About 40 facilities had none, according to an analysis by The Arizona Republic.

Heritage Village has also paid more fines than most; its penalties over three years added up to $18,500. Other facilities typically paid less than $2,000.

Caitlin McGlade, Investigative Data Reporter, The Arizona Republic and azcentral.com

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