State shuts down Wake Forest assisted living facility
Posted January 5, 2012
Updated January 6, 2012
Wake Forest, N.C. — The state Department of Health and Human Services concluded its investigation into a series of violations at a Wake Forest assisted living facility by ordering the owner to shut it down.
The Wake Forest Care Center, 306 S. Allen St., has been fined more than $40,000 for violations since 2006. Last month, a 79-year-old man who wandered away from the facility was hit by a car.
He died hours later.
Owner Richard Cresenzo was notified of the state's decision to revoke his adult care license Thursday. He has until Monday, or whenever the last resident can be safely placed into another facility, to shut the center's doors.
Cresenzo, a Burlington attorney, did not return calls for comment.
Chris Putna, whose father is a resident at Wake Forest Care Center, said he hasn't had any problems with the facility and that the news of its closing came as a surprise.
"I walked into the middle of the announcement this afternoon bringing him furniture for his room," Putna said. "I had no idea."
Neighbors, however, said they've had questions about the level of supervision at the home.
"We had a gentleman knock on our door (and) try to get in our house," said Tara Joslyn. "We've had people come to the end of our driveway, then fall on our driveway and roll down our driveway."
Joslyn said residents from the home have wandered into her yard as well. She said she hopes the facility's closing will allow residents to go somewhere with better care.
Neighbor George Helton agreed.
"There's people just wandering through the streets, through the neighborhood," said George Helton. "It's not a very safe facility."
Putna, meanwhile, is scrambling to make new living arrangements for his father.
"We're trying to find a place for him. The staff here has indicated that they will place everyone, but it could be in their sister facilities to guarantee a return here, but those facilities are all over the state," Putna said. "One's in Virginia."