Local News

More Problems Reported At Durham Assisted-Living Home

Posted August 9, 2002

— More problems have been uncovered at Durham Village, a facility already under fire for the death of one of its patients. After the death of Ervin Evans in June, the management of the adult-care home assured investigators care would improve. Instead, a new report shows it is getting worse.

When Jane Evans' 82-year-old mother, Lucille, turned up badly bruised with a broken finger at Durham Village Assisted Living, the younger Evans complained.

"How many more are going to get hurt. They don't take care of the patients. They can't answer to anything," Janet Evans said.

A letter from the state Department of Facility Services echoes her claims. While it does not explain what happened to her mother, it does outline a pattern of problems at Durham Village, including inadequate staffing, residents with grooming needs unmet, dirty floors and walls and no alarm system on doors.

Durham Social Services Director Dan Hudgins said he is even more frustrated that these problems were identified weeks after the death of resident Ervin Evans. Investigators said Durham Village workers dropped Ervin Evans off for an appointment and forgot to pick him up. He apparently died of heatstroke trying to get back home.

"I think the public does have reason to be concerned about the care that the residents at that facility are getting," he said.

Hudgins worries that businessman Faiger Blackwell, who owns three troubled adult care homes in Durham, is not getting the message.

"This is the worst situation we've seen in Durham," Hudgins said.

"If they can't take care of the patients and do what they are supposed to do and what they are paid for, then they need to close them down," Hudgins said.

Lucille Evans died just a few weeks ago and Jane Evans believes malnutrition at the facility contributed to her mother's death. She said she is considering a lawsuit.

Hudgins said he plans to recommend Durham Village be shut down and he wants to speed up the appeals process. Blackwell did not return calls to WRAL.


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