An El Mirage woman is facing charges of elder abuse and operating a health-care facility out of a mobile home without a license after an employee abandoned patients who couldn't take care of themselves, court records state.
The employee, Kimberly Washington, 47, was also arrested and later charged with four counts of elder abuse and one count of theft.
Pamela Davis, 51, the owner of Loves Helping Hands LLC, (also known as Pams Helping Hands,) was reportedly unaware that Washington, the hired home-care aide, left four care-dependent patients alone shortly before 7 p.m. on June 25.
Davis was arrested at her El Mirage home on June 26, and Washington was arrested later that day at the Budget Suites of America on West Indian School Road.
Court records paint a picture of gross negligence at Pams Helping Hands, which claims in advertisements the company "specializes in providing 24 hour care to veterans and seniors that need assistance."
Washington regularly drank to the point of drunkenness while on duty and even passed out from intoxication three days prior to abandoning them, records state.
A nurse unaffiliated with the group home arrived at Davis' home, 12721 West Greenway Road, Lot 113, to perform follow-up care for a patient at the residence. Inside, the nurse found “four non-self-sufficient patients … with no caregiver,” according to court records. She called the police, who began a subsequent investigation of the home's owner.
Patients said Washington left the home — to get more beer — 40 minutes prior to the nurse’s arrival with the home’s only functioning cellphone, which belonged to a patient who died at the facility in early June. Court records say Washington is under investigation for the death of that patient.
Washington allegedly kept no log of the medications administered to patients. For patients who required more than a helping hand, none was provided. Of the five patients living in Pams Helping Hands, four were dependent on Washington, who appears to have been the only employee of the home other than Davis.
A patient told police he was not given baby aspirin for his heart condition for over one month. One wheelchair-bound man needed assistance to leave the home. One woman, bedridden and suffering from dementia, needed her adult diaper changed. A terminally ill woman was sedated to the point of non-responsiveness; she was taken to the hospital
And all five of the group home’s residents required daily medication, which remained under Washington and Davis’ control.
Davis had no license to operate a group home. A Phoenix New Times search of Arizona’s Department of Health Services failed to show a license for Pams Helping Hands, Loves Helping Hands LLC, or the address of the El Mirage facility.
Davis also admitted to police, according to court records, that she did not perform mandatory DPS fingerprint clearance for Washington, which would have shown a prior arrest record involving drug use and trafficking, assault, theft, prostitution, and probation violation. Washington’s extensive record would have prevented her from receiving clearance.
A listing on Assisted Living Directory notes Pams Helping Hands’ provides hygiene assistance, medication reminders, assistance in performing daily activities, 24-hour services, and several other services the facility didn’t appear to actually perform.
New Times reached out to the Assisted Living Directory, which calls itself a “referral service that helps families find the right senior communities for their loved ones” for comment. However, the website’s founder said he sold the company several years ago, and despite numerous requests to have his name removed from the site, he has not heard back from the new owners.
Calls placed to the phone number listed on Assisted Living Directory’s website were supposedly forwarded to corporate offices for other senior home providers, including A Place for Mom and SeniorAdvisor.com.
Pams Helping Hands also advertises that it has a location at 12829 West Laurel Lane in El Mirage.
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