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I-Team investigates local assisted living facility

Updated: Wednesday, June 11, 2014 |
I-Team investigates local assisted living facility story image
KALAMAZOO, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - Concerned family members asked the Newschannel 3 I-Team to investigate their loved one's senior care facility.

Sandy Zantello's family says they placed her in Park Place Assisted Living in Kalamazoo about four months ago.

Since then, her family has been concerned about the quality of care she is receiving.

Just recently, they filed a police report, claiming Sandy was robbed in her sleep, and they believe a staff member may be responsible.

The I-Team looked into the allegations and the facility and found a list of violations.

Senior care is a difficult, highly scrutinized business, so finding violations is not uncommon, but some of what the I-Team found could be concerning.

Sandy's son-in-law, Randy Rolen, says concerns popped up almost immediately.

"The problems were primarily with care," he said. "You go to look for medical staff and there's no one there."

Rolen says they brought up the concern with management.

"The story that my wife got was, 'oh, they're here, they're on break; no, no, it's not as bad as you think,'" he said.

When the I-Team looked into Park Place's record with the Department of Human Services, there were more than a dozen violations in recent years.

None, however, specifically discuss a lack of staffing, but possibly a lack of training.

In 2009, a Park Place resident had a stroke because staff gave him "6 or fewer of his 15 daily medications."

In 2011, a resident died in the cafeteria, staff covered him with a sheet, and "continued serving the meal."

Last year, DHS found found, for at least the fourth time, staff administering blood pressure medication "without taking the patient's blood pressure."

Two weeks ago, Rolen claims there was another violation.

"Jill noticed that the necklace and ring were missing," he said.

A 2 carat diamond ring and 14 carat gold necklace.

"Even in intensive care, the ring and the necklace stayed on," Rolen said. "She wouldn't allow anyone to touch them."

Rolen says Park Place Management has not been helpful.

"They'll say, 'well, we're looking into it,' and then they brush it off," he said. "There's no sympathy to it, there's no understanding, there's no sense of action."

DHS records also show Park Place has been cited multiple times for not keeping track of residents' funds and valuables.

We asked Rolen why his family hasn't removed Zantello from Park Place. He says there are very few facilities that can supply the care she needs.

We spoke with a manager at Park Place Tuesday evening, who said they are looking into the theft allegation, but refused to give any other comment.

Kalamazoo Public Safety and the Department of Human Services are also investigating the alleged theft.

When we hear more about those investigations, we will let you know.
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