COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - An assisted living facility is facing serious abuse allegations from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.
According to health officials, Good Day "failed to protect the right of residents to not be verbally, physically or emotionally abused, intimidated or punished."
The Order of Summary Suspension goes on to say that "the owner/administrator, who is the primary caregiver, repeatedly subjected former and current residents to abuse."
"The investigation established the owner/administrator hit, slapped, grabbed and restrained current and former residents. At least three residents displayed bruises and injuries consistent with physical abuse. Two residents were moved from the home because of the abuse," according to the order.
The Department of Health also accuses the owner of mentally abusing and intimidating residents.
Carol Houston is the owner of Good Day Residential Home. She spoke to KRDO NewsChannel on the phone.
Houston denies the allegations and said the investigation is ongoing.
"There's no physical evidence," Houston said.
She also said that her residents and their families supported her.
"None of the people that I had here, none of their families wanted to take their loved ones out," said Houston. "They all came here and told the state they did not want to take them out. State made them."
Houston said she has already hired an attorney and plans to appeal the license suspension.
Two residents are still living in Good Day. Family members chose to keep them at the home.
Scott Bartlett is the lead Ombudsman at the Pikes Peak Area Council of Governments and has worked for the organization for seven years.
He said he has never seen a license suspension like this one.
"One of the things that we need to work on as a community is reporting abuse even when there's just a suspicion that abuse is occurring," he said.
According to Bartlett, elder abuse is often under-reported because of a fear of retaliation. Bartlett said some may be afraid that their caretakers will take away basic needs, including, "food to eat, their medications provided or that the abuse will escalate," said Bartlett.
If you suspect that your loved one may be a victim of abuse, Bartlett said you should contact authorities immediately.
If your loved one is in a licensed facility, contact your local ombudsman or law enforcement.
If your loved one is in an unlicensed facility, call Adult Protective Services or law enforcement.