(WXYZ) - The 7 Action News Investigators are exposing an assisted living nightmare, what State officials confirm were serious issues at an adult foster care facility in Livonia.
When 7 Action News Investigator Scott Lewis started looking into the situation at Berkley Court of Livonia, he uncovered something even the state didn't know about; a name change.
We got onto this story after complaints from a viewer, Evelyn Longsworth, who documented poor conditions at a sister-facility in Brighton, took her complaints to the state, and got action.
In February of last year, Longsworth made a difficult decision. Tom, her husband of 47 years was suffering from Alzheimer's and it was no longer safe to keep him at home.
She took him to Ashley Court, an assisted living facility close to her home in Brighton that she thought was reputable.
"And I made a very serious mistake," Longsworth said.
Longsworth soon noticed issues and started to document them in a journal and with pictures.
She says the place was dirty, and understaffed.
"I saw some people fall. I saw some people get hurt. And there was no staff around," said Longsworth.
She says patient injuries were not being reported or investigated.
One day she walked in to find her husband lying in the hallway with dirty bare feet. Another time she found the skin had been scraped off his toes during a fire drill.
"Then one day I walked in and my husband had a horrific bruise on his buttocks," Longsworth said.
Before she could find a new facility for her husband he died last August. Still in grief, she pulled herself together and drafted five separate complaints, well documented with her notes and pictures, and sent a report off to the State Department of Human Services.
"He was a great man. And I know when my older son came home he read it and he said, 'you know mom, this is all true, but, he said, it breaks my heart to read about it and go back to that, because these were Tom's last days on earth'," Longsworth told 7 Action News Investigator Scott Lewis as she fought back tears.
Longsworth was relieved when state investigators established violations on four of her complaints. They ordered owner Rubin Chandok to come up with a corrective action plan, which the state later accepted and he is now implementing.
"The individual who complained about us we hold no ill will towards. We look at it as an opportunity to increase our level of care here," Chandok said.
What Evelyn Longsworth found and documented in Brighton was bad, but when the 7 Action News Investigators dug deeper, we found more. The owners of the Brighton facility own another one in Livonia, and the track record there is worse, much worse.
There are four buildings at Berkley Court in Livonia, each with a separate license. Over the last several years the state found numerous violations at all of them.
Among the violations: residents left unattended, their belongings disappearing, residents not getting medications, a staff member hitting a resident in the mouth and several staff members badgering a resident for reporting incidents.
And at building number one, the most disturbing of all; the state confirmed that the home manager and a staff member were physically abusing all of the residents. A state investigator recommended revocation of their license and the building was later closed voluntarily.
Evelyn Longsworth is not surprised.
"How a person conducts a business in one setting is probably how he conducts business in another setting. They either get it or they don't,” Longsworth said.
Dave Akerly speaks for the Michigan Department of Human Services, the agency that regulates adult foster care homes. 7 Action News Investigator Scott Lewis asked him about the past violations at Berkley Court in Livonia.
"It is serious. I mean, and certainly we take it that way," said Akerly.
"They're serious, but in the whole scheme of things this is not the worst?” asked Lewis.
“Um, it's, it's up there," Akerly replied.
And the 7 Action News Investigators discovered something even the state didn't know. After closing building one over those serious violations Berkley Court changed the name on their sign to Ashley Court.
If you look up Ashley Court in Livonia on the state's web site, you won't find any violations because they're not licensed under that name.
Akerly says that doesn't pass the smell test.
"You don't get to do a name change like that wipe away history. If you have a history, that history has to stick to you," Akerly said.
Evelyn Longsworth, who was paying $4,000 per month at Ashley Court in Brighton says she believes the owner of these two homes is putting profits ahead of people.
"And he may think these buildings are cash cows, but the bottom line is you're dealing with human beings."
While the properties owned jointly by Rubin Chandok and his father have put patients at risk, our investigation reveals that they are living quite well. They live in a 1.6 million dollar home in Ann Arbor and between the two of them,