Despite a barrage of emergency calls to the Phoenix Police Department regarding suspicious injuries and wandering patients at several assisted living facilities in the Phoenix area, no action was taken by the Department of Health Services to investigate into the real source of these problems.
That it is, until recent investigations at the facilities that revealed conditions that were so pathetic, that that assisted living facilities were shut down and the operator of the facilities was arrested.
Melissa Pacheco was recently arrested and charged with 69 counts of abusing vulnerable adults who were living at three assisted living facilities she owned.
In addition to physically disgusting problems discovered at the facilities such as: broken plumbing, urine and feces on the floors, along with bug infestations. In addition to the horrid living conditions, investigators found more disturbing conditions on the patients living in Pacheco’s facilities.
Many of the physically disabled and mentally challenged patients were found to have:
- Open wounds
- Untreated medical complications
- Untreated fractures
Sadly, despite the deplorable living conditions and patients with suffering from obvious neglect, employees at the facility never stepped forward as they feared they would lose their job if they reported the conditions to authorities.
While I certainly can appreciate the fear of losing a job in this rough economy, I find the failure of the staff at these facilities to report the dangerous conditions and visibly injured patients to authorities inexcusable. As caregivers who deliberately ignored these conditions, I hope the Attorney General prosecutes these people to the fullest extent for not ensuring the safety of their patients.
Nightmare Nurse Arrested on 69 Counts of Abusing Vulnerable Adults, by James King Phoenix New Times February 10, 2011