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Allegations of mistreatment at local home for seniors

Updated: Thursday, March 7 2013, 08:09 AM EST
Allegations of mistreatment at local home for seniors  story image
KALAMAZOO, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) – Newschannel 3’s I-Team has uncovered serious allegations of mistreatment at a Kalamazoo home for senior citizens.

The staff at Park Place Living Center on South Westnedge Avenue is accused of letting a man who had passed away lay on the dining room floor while dinner was still going on.

Theresa Ikerd says that what happened to her father was traumatizing, and she says Park Place made some serious mistakes. Newschannel 3’s I-Team has found a state investigation that seems to agree with her.

When Theresa Ikerd looks back on her father’s life she tries to think about his military service and the good times they had together, but lately all she can think about is the way he died at the Park Place Living Center.

Ikerd says she got a call last year saying that her father, 82-year-old Forest Piper had died, but when she arrived at the assisted living home, she was stunned by what she saw.

“He’s laying in the dining room under a sheet, his face wasn’t covered, the rest of him was, and they were still feeding the residents and they were eating,” said Ikerd.

Ikerd says her father’s body was on the floor while dinner was still going on. She says she had to call the coroner and EMTs to finally help move him. She says the staff never helped.

The I-Team has found a state investigation into the incident which reported that a “violation was established.” The investigator said personnel “could have moved him to his room or a more private area,” and “employees could have directed other residents out of the dining room.”

“For a veteran of the Navy, veteran of the Army, serving two tours of duty in Vietnam, he should have been treated with a little more respect,” said Ikerd.

Ikerd says her father’s care plan required a nurse to be called if his pulse oxygen levels dropped. According to the state investigation the staff new the morning he died that those levels did drop, but didn’t take action. Again, the state found there was a violation.

Ikerd did file a lawsuit against the owners of Park Place at the time this happened. Park Place now has new owners, not a part of this.

Part of the suit alleging emotional distress was dismissed, the part alleging malpractice is still working through the courts.

The attorney for the former owner told Newschannel 3 that the fact part of the lawsuit was dismissed shows it doesn’t amount to being actionable in Michigan. He said the state’s investigations are only opinions.
Allegations of mistreatment at local home for seniors
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