CASTLE ROCK, Colo. — Joel Kaufman says the notice to move his 97-year-old mother from an assisted living care center in Castle Rock came practically without warning.
“I actually got a call from hospice and they said, ‘You have to move your mother today.’ What do you mean?” Kaufman said.
His mom Gladys was one of nine patients forced to relocate after the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment issued an emergency license suspension for the Renaissance Memory Center 2 at 572 Evening Song Drive in Castle Rock.
“Three or four days before I went in to see her and the staff had changed, nobody knew anything.
At that point, my mother was bedridden,” Kauffman said.
The state health department was tipped off on Sept. 8 after Castle Rock firefighters received a 911 call to take a resident to an emergency room.
Investigators responded within hours and found some residents were lying in their own urine and feces, and and that rodent droppings were prevalent throughout the home.
By Sept. 12, the state had closed the facility. Among the findings, just one staff member on premise to care for nine patients.
The division director for health facilities, Randy Kuykendall, said there should have been at least three staff members to care for the patients, many of whom had memory issues and were not mobile.
“There wasn’t any records that say the residents had received their medications on time or in the right quantity,” Kuykendall said.
State investigators had responded to the same home in August based on a complaint and found six violations.
Instead of making mandated changes, investigators say a month later conditions had only gotten worse.
“The situation and the systems in that care facility failed to such a high degree that we had no alternative but to close it,” said Kuykendall, who added on average the state doesn’t even close one facility a year out of the more than 660 assisted living care centers that operate in Colorado.
Renaissance was one of six assisted living care facilities owned and operated by Kenan and Ashley Fyfe.
There was a “sold” sign stood outside the couple’s last known home.
A woman who identified herself as the Fyfe’s tenant said the couple left Colorado for Pennsylvania a year ago, long before Renaissance caught the attention of state regulators.
“It bothers me that the owner of the facility stiffed all the residents and her families, stiffed her employees and just disappeared and said too bad,” said Kaufman, referring to Ashley Fyfe, the principal owner.
State regulators say a new buyer is in the process of taking over the Assisted Living Centers once operated by the Fyfes.
Castle Rock said it has forwarded a criminal investigation into the Fyfes to the State Attorney General’s Office.