'I live in agony': Resident describes poor conditions at assisted living home

'I live in agony': Resident describes poor conditions at assisted living home
Published: Nov. 16, 2017 at 5:09 PM EST|Updated: Nov. 20, 2017 at 7:58 AM EST
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RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - A Richmond man says the living conditions at his assisted living home are so bad, he'd rather be homeless.

The resident of Jones & Jones Assisted Living is choosing to remain anonymous out of fear of retribution.

"Every day, I live in agony," the resident said.

The resident has called the facility on Forest Hill Avenue home for years, with nowhere else to go.

Like many of the other people living there, he suffers from severe mental health problems.

The facility services the disabled, elderly and people with mental health disorders like schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

The resident says the conditions inside are dire.

"You try to go to sleep at night, and you've got like 10 bed bugs crawling all over you," the resident said. "Head lice has been going around. Bed bugs is like an infestation here … like every room has them."

According to the Department of Social Services report, the facility failed to ensure that the interior and exterior of all buildings were kept clean. Bedbug droppings in one room, is just one of the many violations found in a report from June.

The report also mentions, "the facility failed to administer a resident's medication in accordance with the physicians or other prescribers instructions."

Other issues include dirty bed and bath linens as well as failing to keep hazardous materials stored and locked away, including a saw, jagged blade and two joint knives.

The report also states the facility failed to keep the building free from foul, stale and musty odors.

According to the report, the facility did not keep furniture, window coverings, sinks, toilets and showers clean and in good repair.

"One bathroom has soap out of seven," the resident said, "And about like two have toilet paper."

The resident claims the women's area hasn't had hot water for six months.

According to the Department of Social Services website, 16 out of the 21 times the agency inspected the facility's location at 7804 Forest Hill, it was in violation. The 13 times it inspected the 7806 location, Jones & Jones were in violation 10 times.

So in all, the facility was found to be in violation 29 times out of 34 visits.

The latest DSS report from October, 2017 shows both repeat and new violations were observed, including the facility failing to ensure compliance with its own policies and procedures.

A report from September 2017 says residents' bed linens were in poor shape and that the facility failed to ensure that all bathrooms had soap, among many other violations.

Another report from July states Jones & Jones did not give a resident at the facility medication during the entire month of March.

The resident says he and others have complained multiple times.

Mabel Jones, the administrator for Jones & Jones said in a statement:

"We are governed by DSS Commonwealth of Virginia, licensing department for all operation and fiscal matters.

All violations in question are accompanied by a corrective action plan that was submitted and accepted by social service licensing department. We have a pest control company that is in charge of managing all insect problems which is overseen by the department of social services.

The residents in this facility exercise their right to come and go as they please by the law, according to regulations set forth by the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Jones & Jones remain concerned about health, safety and welfare of the population that we serve."

The residents at Jones & Jones are free to come and go as they please, and many of them end up at the WAWA down the street.

Employees there, along with a Richmond police officer, say many of the residents end up loitering, trespassing and begging customers for money.

"I was tasked with trying to come up with a way to curb the complaints," Officer Patrick Ripley said.

Officer Ripley, a 17-year member of the Richmond Police Department, started by telling the residents to leave and arresting repeat violators.

"Arresting away the problem doesn't make it go away; it just removes it," Ripley said. "And it comes back again."

So Ripley came up with something else, in hopes of helping the mentally ill. Click the link below to read more!

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