If you watch the news or read the paper on a semi-regular basis, you’ve probably heard about crime rates and overpopulation in the prison system. Have you ever wondered what happens to criminals when they get old and can no longer live independently? What about people that aren’t necessarily criminals but are difficult to place for other reasons, like mental health problems? Where do they go? Well, up until mid-February, in Ohio, many of them went to Carlton Manor in Washington Court House.
Carlton Manor, which had become a place notorious for accepting residents that were otherwise difficult to place, officially closed in mid-February. The last resident vacated on Valentine’s Day.
Residents of the nursing home included 27 registered sex offenders. That’s more than any other nursing home in the state. The Columbus Dispatch reports, “In addition to 27 registered sex offenders living there, nearly all the other residents had some sort of behavioral, psychological, or mental-health problem. Many had a history of violent or aggressive behavior, and some had criminal backgrounds.”
In Ohio, notification of other nursing home residents is not required when a sex offender moves in. In addition, there is no special license required for nursing homes or extended care facilities that take in violent or mentally ill patients or those with a criminal background.
Beverly Laubert, with the Department of Aging, said, “To keep its operating license, however, a nursing home must prove that it has the proper care plans and properly trained employees to handle every resident. If a nursing home like Carlton Manor chooses to take on mental-health patients or criminal offenders, they can’t say, ‘We’ll meet most of their needs,’ or ‘We’ll meet their needs on average.’ It has to meet the needs of every single resident and at Carlton Manor, that wasn’t done.”
The Ohio Department of Health revoked Carlton Manor’s license because it failed multiple inspections. In addition, there was a history of trouble at the nursing home, including suspected sexual abuse and other abuses. For example, Mark Miller, a 54-year-old dying of cirrhosis and a previous resident at Carlton Manor, slept on a dirty mattress, wore soiled clothes, and had most of his belongings stolen by his fellow residents.
All of the 131 residents were relocated. 99 of Carlton Manor’s residents were moved to other nursing home facilities, 21 went to developmental disability centers, 4 were placed in mental-health group homes, 3 were able to return home, and 4 died of natural causes.
The owner of Carlton Manor has asked for an administrative hearing to fight the revocation of the nursing home’s license.