State shuts down Laurinburg’s Willow Place

By: By Beth Lawrence - Staff reporter
A patient’s box of belongings sits on a cart waiting to be transferred to a van to take the resident to his or her new nursing facility.
Courtesy photo Assisted living facilities from around the area lined up thoughout the afternoon Thursday to remove patients from Willow Place assisted living facility after the state shut it down.

LAURINBURG — Willow Place Assisted Living Community was closed and its residents moved Thursday, according family members of patients there.

They said that officials with the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services gave the facility until midnight to shut its doors. The action ends a year-long struggle for residents and their families who wanted the state to step in and force the facility to comply or shut it down.

“Oh my God! It feels so good to know it’s been shut down,” said Larry Graham, whose wife, Rena, was a resident at the home last year. “I hate that it is shut down for the fact that we’ve got local people that need a place to go in area instead of out town.”

Graham said workers and family members spent much of Thursday loading the 35 residents into vans to go to other facilities in Hamlet, Red Springs, Aberdeen and Laurinburg. Police were also at the home Thursday night.

Officials with the NC Department Health and Human Services Health Service Regulation spent three days last week conducting audits at Willow Place following a new round of complaints.

The complaints include an alleged rape at the facility as well as the loss of another resident with cognitive issues in February who was later located in New Jersey. There were also allegations that the safety issues for which the home was investigated in 2017 continue to be problems.

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services suspended the facility’s full license to operate last May after it was cited for 16 violations.

The suspension was lifted and the license was restored back in December.

“For the people to run it the way they did we had no choice, but get shut down too many bad things happened out there,” Graham said.”Maybe someone better will come in and reopen it.”

It was unclear Thursday whether Z&V adult care owned by Georgette Jones has been shut down or if the order applies only to the Laurinburg facility.

A patient’s box of belongings sits on a cart waiting to be transferred to a van to take the resident to his or her new nursing facility.
https://www.laurinburgexchange.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/web1_732Processed-1.jpegA patient’s box of belongings sits on a cart waiting to be transferred to a van to take the resident to his or her new nursing facility.

Courtesy photo Assisted living facilities from around the area lined up thoughout the afternoon Thursday to remove patients from Willow Place assisted living facility after the state shut it down.
https://www.laurinburgexchange.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/web1_738Processed-1.jpegCourtesy photo Assisted living facilities from around the area lined up thoughout the afternoon Thursday to remove patients from Willow Place assisted living facility after the state shut it down.

By Beth Lawrence

Staff reporter

Reach Beth Lawrence 910-506-3169

Reach Beth Lawrence 910-506-3169