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State pulls the plug on two care facilities

"State investigators on Friday, Aug. 25, shut down Misty Ridge and Berry Patch, two adult-family homes located in Port Orchard, when they discovered caregivers had been physically and verbally abusing residents.Fortunately, the necessity of revoking the license of an adult-family home is an infrequent occurrence, because they are generally operated quite well, said Pam Hildreth, a lead investigator for the state Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS). But the danger to the residents in this case was so imminent, the state did what was necessary to protect them.Today, state officials are convinced all but one resident at either Misty or Berry Patch had moved to alternative care facilities. Misty Ridge housed six residents, while Berry Patch housed an additional six. It's not illegal to care for just one, unrelated individual without a valid license in Washington state, so investigators can't say for sure if the lone resident has moved out or not.Following a complaint-driven investigation, many interviews and two surprise visits on April 27 and May 10 to Misty Ridge, where the abuse reportedly originated, the state recommended stripping Delvin Olson of his license to operate both Misty and Berry Patch.Olson declined to comment this last week. When a reporter asked to speak with the owner of Misty Ridge, located at 2208 Sidney Avenue, an unidentified woman slammed the front door of the facility, saying she didn't have time to talk. Berry Patch is located across the street at 2206 Sidney.State investigators on Aug. 25 delivered in person to Olson a statement of deficiencies, which is a report that describes in detail what types of abuse occurred at the home. By law, the statement should be readily posted at the home for public viewing. Also by law, Olson has 10 days from the date he received the notice to request an informal dispute resolution with state officials, or another 28 days to file an appeal with an administrative law judge.Hildreth said the state hasn't yet received notice from Olson about pursuing those options.Adult family homes generally tend to care for individuals with mental and physical challenges, not necessarily those who require special medical attention. In the case of Misty Ridge and Berry Patch, state officials wouldn't specify needs of residents located at the homes to protect their anonymity.According to the statement of deficiencies, however, state investigators accused caregivers at Misty Ridge of physically abusing three out of six residents, and verbally abusing all six.Some residents were allegedly slapped and called names, according to the state report, and others were denied help to the bathroom.Investigators also found at least one resident was receiving inappropriate medication, which seemed to make her laugh, then cry and appear disoriented. Investigators said the resident's speech was also slurred, and an anonymous outside source, who visited the home with a case manager, said the resident shouldn't have been receiving the medication.That particular resident lives at a different care facility today and, according to staff there, the resident is doing quite well. Staff members took her off the medication, and the resident no longer screams or laughs and then cries.The resident is very delightful, a staff member said. Never, never has there been any behavior described by the resident's original caretaker. The resident has a good sense of humor, tells you if something is wrong, listens to books and music.Care givers at Misty also discharged one resident of the six without due notice, state investigators say. "

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