An assisted-living facility in Lawrence with a history of regulatory violations was cited for five more violations in its most recent inspection by state regulators. But this time none of the violations involved actual harm to residents or conditions that placed residents in immediate danger.
According to Kansas Advocates for Better Care, a statewide advocacy group based in Lawrence, the Windsor of Lawrence, 3220 Peterson Road, received the citations during its last inspection in January.
One violation involved storing narcotic medication in a locked refrigerator set at 40 degrees instead of keeping them at room temperature, as drug manufacturers recommended. Others involved record-keeping violations, including not having signatures of all the responsible parties and care givers on each resident’s service agreement.
The Windsor also was cited for not having documentation of criminal background checks and tuberculosis tests on several employees, and for failing to conduct quarterly reviews of the facility’s emergency management plan.
That inspection report, however, represented a substantial improvement since 2011 when the Windsor was cited for 17 violations, including two that involved mistreatment of residents by the facility’s staff.
Matthew Thornton, vice president of operations for Legend Senior Living, the company that operates the Windsor of Lawrence, said he was pleased with the report.
“All of these items were corrected within 14 days and cleared by the department,” Thornton said, referring to the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services, the agency that regulates and inspects long-term care facilities.
According to Kansas Advocates for Better Care, the Windsor of Lawrence is one of 11 “stand-alone” long-term-care facilities — those not attached to a nursing home — that have been cited for three or more violations in each of their last three inspections.
It was the only assisted-living facility in Douglas County to fall into that category.
At the other end of the scale, two other facilities in Douglas County were mentioned for having zero deficiencies during the last three inspection cycles. Those were Vintage Park of Baldwin City and Cooper’s Care Home Number 2 in Lawrence.
There are 293 such facilities in Kansas, which KABC said are “significantly less regulated by the state, and have no federal regulation in contrast to nursing homes,” despite their rapid growth in the health care market.
“They are growing ever so rapidly because that’s what people want,” said Lenette Ham of KABC. “People are living longer, they’re staying healthier and they may need some guidance, but not full-scale care. There used to be no other option.”
Ham said KABC publicizes the results of inspection reports to educate the public about the quality of care available.
“It’s not to frighten them, and not to upset the facilities by any means, but just to make folks aware of the problems that may have occurred so they can start asking questions if they’re interested in that facility,” she said.