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Assisted living facility shut down after losing track of Verbena man

Published 3:57pm Monday, July 8, 2013

An assisted living facility in Montgomery was forced to shut down after an elderly Verbena man left the facility unnoticed and remained unnoticed until family called and reported the man’s whereabouts on June 7.

According to director of the Alabama Department of Public Health Provider Standards bureau Dr. Walter Geary, the man climbed out of his bedroom window and hitched a ride from someone in Montgomery to some of his family members in Verbena.

It was only after family members reported the man was with them in Verbena did anyone at Cedars Assisted Living Facility notice the man was gone.

“There are specific regulations the facility has to comply with,” Geary said. “We went into the facility to investigate and we found that the employees were not paying attention to their residents as they should be.”

Geary declined to provide the Verbena man’s name.

Geary said after the incident, the facility was put on a period of “observation” where he and his team observed the facility over a period of a weekend.

The facility, located off Virginia Loop Road, received an emergency suspension order that following Monday, June 10 and the 50 residents living at the facility were given 48 hours to relocate.

“We got significant help from all of the nursing homes and assisted living facilities in the surrounding areas during that 48 hours,” Geary said.

Geary said the next step will be a hearing date for everyone whose license was affected to come to the hearing and request an appeal.

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