Senior citizen care facility responds to police allegations - WRBL

Text Description

Senior citizen care facility responds to police allegations

Posted: Updated:
COLUMBUS, Ga. -

The owner of Loving Care Senior Citizen Home says she did nothing wrong after police shut down the facility last week.

Sheryl Drakeford is out of jail and cleaning up at her now-empty facility after being charged with Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of Disabled Persons and Operating a Personal Care Home Without a License. She claims her patients were happy and well-taken care of, but police are telling a different story.

Two months ago Columbus police first began investigating the Loving Care home, where they found that patients were being sent to an unlicensed facility when they reached capacity. Drakeford says, "We just take the person's word for what they're saying, that they're licensed, and it just so happened that this particular place was not licensed and we were not aware of it."

Drakeford denies the police charges that patients were crowded in the home, finding places to sleep on the floor and couches, and being fed food infested with rust and roach droppings. "We did not have anybody sleeping on the floor," she says. "Everybody had a bed to sleep in, and the food was great. In fact, we were told we have one of the best menu programs in Columbus because we serve good food."

Abraham Maynard lived in Loving Care for two years. He was the youngest resident and says he was shocked when the facility was shut down. "They gave me the correct diet food," he says. "They fed me correctly. I lost 100 pounds here, and my life was changed, and my life was saved just because I was turned over to Loving Care. I had a place to stay. I had three meals a day."

Sgt. Mark Richards heard something different from the residents he spoke with. "They really were telling some of the investigators that they enjoyed moving to another facility where they were being fed better," he says.

He was at Loving Care the day of the site inspection and he says he didn't see evidence of a balanced meal plan. "All I saw when I was there was jellied cranberry sauce, some canned fruit apples like what was used in making pies, and thousands of bags of beans," he says.

Sgt. Richards says the exploitation of the elderly is a trend that needs to be stopped, and the investigation goes further than Loving Care. He calls this bust the tip of the iceberg, and there will be more arrests and charges to be filed in the coming weeks.

He adds that elders are being taken advantage of both financially and physically in some cases. "Without the family knowing or doing any investigation into the background of a facility," says Sgt. Richards, "a lot of these individuals fall prey to people who probably try to build an income off the backs of some of these elderly adults."

The 16 people who were living at Loving Care are being placed at other local facilities through New Horizons and their individual case workers.

Sgt. Richards and his team are currently taking tips about abuse of the elderly. You can call the state hotline to report abuse at 1(866) 55AGING.

Jessi Mitchell

Jessi joined the WRBL news team in October 2012 after working as a freelance production assistant for MTV Networks in Los Angeles.
More>>

  • Crime WatchMore>>

  • Attorneys argue motions ahead of Kareem Lane retrial

    Attorneys argue motions ahead of Kareem Lane retrial

    Friday, July 25 2014 6:42 PM EDT2014-07-25 22:42:19 GMT
    Kareem Lane in good spirits before August retrialKareem Lane in good spirits before August retrial
    A new trialisabout to startfor Kareem Lane, the man accused of killing Muscogee County school superintendent Jim Burns in 1992. A hung jury resulted in a mistrial in 2012, but now the lawyers are prepared to start all over again. Friday defense attorney Stacey Jackson and the prosecution team stood before Judge Bobby Peters to argue motions before Lane's retrial starts in August. There is nonew evidence in the case against Lane, who came under suspicion after witnesses said they saw his truc...
    A new trialisabout to startfor Kareem Lane, the man accused of killing Muscogee County school superintendent Jim Burns in 1992. A hung jury resulted in a mistrial in 2012, but now the lawyers are prepared to start all over again. Friday defense attorney Stacey Jackson and the prosecution team stood before Judge Bobby Peters to argue motions before Lane's retrial starts in August. There is nonew evidence in the case against Lane, who came under suspicion after witnesses said they saw his truc...
  • Caneya Webb family speaks out after murder trial

    Caneya Webb family speaks out after murder trial

    Friday, July 25 2014 6:23 PM EDT2014-07-25 22:23:04 GMT
    Caneya Webb leaves behind three children, the youngest of whom is Newsome's daughterCaneya Webb leaves behind three children, the youngest of whom is Newsome's daughter
    The day after a Russell County jury found Curtis Newsome guilty of murder, the victim's family is breathing a sigh of relief.During the four-daytrial, Newsome described how he killed his pregnant girlfriend, 26-year-old Caneya Webb, in a fit of rage after he found a Facebook message to her from another man last June. He punched her in the back of the head and strangled her until she was dead, leaving her tied with aUSB cord in the bathtub for her father to find. It took the jury a mere 17 min...
    The day after a Russell County jury found Curtis Newsome guilty of murder, the victim's family is breathing a sigh of relief.During the four-daytrial, Newsome described how he killed his pregnant girlfriend, 26-year-old Caneya Webb, in a fit of rage after he found a Facebook message to her from another man last June. He punched her in the back of the head and strangled her until she was dead, leaving her tied with aUSB cord in the bathtub for her father to find. It took the jury a mere 17 min...
  • PHOTOS: Opelika Circle K robbed

    PHOTOS: Opelika Circle K robbed

    Friday, July 25 2014 4:30 PM EDT2014-07-25 20:30:44 GMT
    Opelika police release images showing Thursday's robbery at a Circle K.Opelika police release images showing Thursday's robbery at a Circle K.

    Opelika police hope someone will recognize robbery suspects and call authorities.

    Opelika police hope someone will recognize robbery suspects and call authorities.

Powered by WorldNow

1350 13th Avenue
Columbus, GA 31901

Telephone: 706.323.3333
Fax: 706.327.6655
Email: news@wrbl.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.