Slog News & Arts

Line Out

Music & Nightlife

« "I Haven't Been to Many Politi... | Seattle Center Makes an Exampl... »

Thursday, November 6, 2008

First Hill Senior Housing Facility Being Investigated for Abuse

posted by on November 6 at 14:10 PM

A First Hill assisted living facility is under investigation by the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) and has been told to stop accepting new residents until staff receive additional training.

An October 28th DSHS report accuses Faerland Terrace—located on Minor and Pike—staff of improperly handling residents suffering dementia. According to the report, staff apparently pinned the arms of a combative resident in order to get them dressed, and failed to brush another resident’s teeth for over a year.

The report says a staff member also struck a resident in the back of the head, and the facility apparently has had problems with some residents urinating and forcing tongue kisses on other residents. There also appear to have been problems with residents assaulting, chasing, biting and tripping each other.

Faerland, which has about 100 residents, is appealing DSHS’ “stop placement” order, and the facility’s executive director, Tommy Tomlinson, says she’s filed a complaint with the state, claiming her staff was harassed by a DSHS inspector.

“I’ve already asked the inspector not to step into the building again,” Tomlinson says. “The state inspector came in and intimidated and harassed my staff…pushing them, asking them the same question four or five times [and] upsetting the residents.”
DSHS was unavailable for comment on Tomlinson’s claims of harassment.

Tomlinson downplays the incidents listed in the report, insisting that DSHS’ accusations are “erroneous and false.” But, she says, “We’re guilty until we prove otherwise. All of our patients are happy as can be.”

Considering these alleged abuses are exactly what supporters of I-1029—which would double the training requirements for caretakers to about 70 hours—have been crowing about, I asked Faerland what she thought of the initiative.

“1029 will be onerous for everyone in long term care. There’s no way the state’s going to be able to oversee this,” she says.

DSHS has given Faerland until November 17th to retrain its staff.

RSS icon Comments


aw snap! tongue kissing in the mouth?!

Posted by Skip | November 6, 2008 2:20 PM

This makes me soooo mad and hits pretty close to home. Just over a week ago my Dad (who suffers from dementia) was able to walk out of the front door of a hospice facility in Phoenix. I can't stand assisted living facilities that mistreat the people they are supposedly caring for. If DSHS' accusations are true this place should be shutdown and all of it's employees should be barred from the care industry.

Posted by Little Red Ryan Hood | November 6, 2008 2:27 PM

Oh yeah, poor, poor ever will they train their staff to act like decent human beings to their patients?

Posted by EmilyP | November 6, 2008 2:29 PM

I'm laughing so hard right now!

Posted by HAHAHA! | November 6, 2008 2:36 PM

isn't a hospice a place where people go to die? in that case why wasn't your dad slapping heroin and getting drunk off beam?

Posted by Bellevue Ave | November 6, 2008 2:52 PM

@5 - Don't be a tool.

I work in elder care, and am horrified by how my clients' own families treat them. I can only imagine how people who aren't related to the elderly person can be.

Posted by j4zz3rgrl | November 6, 2008 2:57 PM

What did you expect from a place called Fearland Terrace?

Posted by Mahtli69 | November 6, 2008 3:10 PM

@6, thats how i want to spend my final days; high and drunk.

Posted by Bellevue Ave | November 6, 2008 3:33 PM

This is exactly why we need I-1029.

Of course she doesn't see it as necessary-she is the one with the problem facility!

Posted by Blacksheep | November 6, 2008 3:54 PM

I should mention that better training means better pay. Now do you see why she wouldn't want I-1029 to pass?!

Posted by Blacksheep | November 6, 2008 3:56 PM

DSHS's accusations are NOT true.

I worked at Faerland for over two years and the staff there are nothing but caring and compassionate for the residents and would NEVER, EVER do anything to harm any of them.

The DSHS worker did nothing short than harass the staff. I've met her numerous times; she's intimidating and obnoxious.

The accusations against Faerland Terrace are entirely false and I was shocked to hear of a stop placement put against the facility.

And to Mahtli69, you dyslexic idiot. Faerland.

And to Blacksheep - no, the extra training does not result in better pay for the workers. It's just extra hours of training the facility will be required to give the staff before they can work.

Posted by former Faerland staff | November 6, 2008 8:41 PM

My mother had many minor strokes and often couldn't speak but she could cry, which she did a lot at Faerland Terrace. It didn't occur to me she was being mistreated, I assumed she was miserable and lonesome because she didn't choose to go there.

Twice outside the building I intercepted demented residents of Faerland Terrace trying to make an escape. I'd walk with them to the front desk and turn them back in. My mother was so good at escaping that they put a device on her ankle so they could locate her. They were trying to go home. Poor Mother! Poor Elders! I'm so glad we passed the Death with Dignity initiative. Better suicide than such places and conditions.

My mother died there, and when the undertaker's helper arrived with his gurney, I helped him transfer the body onto the gurney, stiff as a board and light. My last words to her were 'This was the only way you were ever going to get out of this place, Dearest.'

I do feel guilty, I feel like an accomplice.

Posted by hilltop | November 6, 2008 8:42 PM

I used to work there to. It is a terible place. Tommy the directer is a awful manager and staff are not trained they are thrown right out in the crazyness. At night there is no workers there and it is not safe. The DSHS lady is fine, doing her hard job. Dont put your parents at Faerland ever.

Posted by ued to be Faerland worker | November 7, 2008 8:52 AM

I am in a nursing home (Park Ridge) and though I have never seen the type of abuse described in the story, I do agree that there seems to be very little training for CNAs (Certified Nursing Assistants) one day they are being given a tour of the facility, and the next day they are working and know nothing about any of their patients (fortunately I can communicate without difficulty).

I also live with a lot of patients suffering from dementia and frankly, even though they are not, many of these patients should be restrained, otherwise they will hurt themselves or someone else. Many CNAs have to stand by dementia patients so they don't hurt themselves, therefor many of the rest of us aren't getting the attention we need.

Posted by elswinger | November 7, 2008 11:29 AM

My girlfriend is a former employee of Faerland Terrace who worked there for a substantial period of time. During her tenure there I visited Faerland Terrace perhaps hundreds of times as I work and attend class nearby. Frequently my visits were in the afternoon when many of the residents were hanging out in the lobby. I have never seen any evidence that the residents were mistreated in any way. In fact most of the residents always seemed rather happy and cheerful. In addition, the caretakers I have seen have always been extremely friendly, caring and professional around all the residents. ...Not to just the few their that need close attention. I have walked around the outside of Faerland way more times than "@Hilltop" and have never seen residents trying to make an "escape". Nor, have I ever seen or heard anything to the effect of ankle bracelets. Ridiculous. I demand to see photographic evidence of this bracelet claim. In my opinion this is simply a situation where a particular individual, possibly a former employee, is waging a one-way personal vendetta with Faerland. I would not be surprised if all it takes to put a facility "under investigation" is an anonymous phone call to DSHS saying there has been mistreatment. If so, that practice must be abolished. Faerland Terrace is a great organization.

Posted by Frequent Visitor | November 7, 2008 11:39 AM

The only people who really know what is going on there is the current staff. I know from personal experience that the management overseeing the caregiver's are not doing an adequate job. It's really sad that the residents are lacking care do to supervisors and management failing to follow through.
For more information: some residents do wear bracelets that keep them from leaving the facility and there have been many occasions that a resident has gotten out and had to be tracked down. I must add that there has always been some caregivers that put their heart into working there, but without proper training anybody can fail- it's a tough job being a caregiver.
I feel for the families that have to endure guilt putting their families into a facility like Faerland, it should never be that way.

Posted by Anonymous | November 7, 2008 5:07 PM

I know first hand that it was reported to the new managers,and to Tommy that the lack of training was effecting the residents basic care(as well as thier quality of life) I also know that when nothing was changed after this being expressed to them that the same caregiver went to the owner of the building to report that as well as staff being verbally abused by new resident manager and assistant. That caregiver then was fired shortly after,a caregiver that had never been written up prior,a caregiver who loved the residents,family memeber,and co-workers and who was in my eyes one of "the best caregivers".
That being said had the owner trusted in her satff member and made changes or in the very least investigated this could have been avoided and the residents at Faerland Terrace would have never been victims of abuse at all. Futher more the staff can only take so much of the blame as the were only doing as they were trained.

Tommy should be ashamed of her self for makeing such poor choices in management. The owner should also be ashamed for not properly dealing with the reports made directly to her.

In the end the residents were the ones who suffered in a place where they called home, a place where the family memebers trusted they would be provided loving care. more then this angers me it makes me sad.


Posted by Anonymous | November 9, 2008 9:26 PM

The owner is Ginger Marshall. She has made bad choices before:

SEATTLE TIMES 2005: Ginger Marshall, West's ex-wife, said she talked with him about the pedophilia allegations. "I'm devastated by the accusations," said Marshall, who lives in Burien. "I know him. I know they're absolutely false."

She is never at our place Faerland. She lets Tommy and bad mangers do a very bad job. She shold be at work more to see what really happens each daytime and night time too.

Posted by work at Faerland too | November 10, 2008 8:36 AM

I worked in nursing at Faerland a few years back. Ginger the owner stopped visting regularly which is a shame. When Tommy took over in 2006, the place went right down hill quickly. She had almost no medical or nursing experience and refused to hire people who were more knowledgeable than she was. She wanted her staff to be young 'n' dumb so she could feel like she was superior. Tommy, with Ginger's the owner) knowledge, hired caregivers who would work for barely above minimum wage -- who were uneducated, inexperienced and hired on the spot at times. Turnover was astounding. Background checks were rarely completed with Tommy. As a nurse, I left Faerland because basic nursing and healthcare standards, and ethical and moral standards were NOT being met and apparently, they are still not being met. Tragic.

Posted by former Faerland nurse | November 10, 2008 11:19 AM

Add Your Comments

Please click Post only once.