State investigates nursing home following Channel 9 report

by: John Paul Updated:

INDIAN TRAIL, N.C. - The state is now investigating a local nursing home days after a Channel 9 investigation exposed allegations of abuse.

[Nursing home faces lawsuits after employee pleads guilty to sexually assaulting patient]

The Channel 9 investigation aired Thursday and by the weekend, state investigators were at Lake Park Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Indian Trail.

Eyewitness News anchor John Paul went back to the facility Tuesday looking for answers

State investigators have been there since Sunday.

Paul talked to new family members who said they're concerned about some of the conditions they've witnessed there.

“Surveyors have been at the facility since Sunday conducting a complaint, investigation and doing a follow-up to see if previous deficiencies have been corrected," the Department of Health and Human Services said in a statement.

Before this investigation, two lawsuits were filed on behalf of residents who are now deceased. The suits alleged sexual assault, poor treatment and untimely death.

Laurie Abounader is an ombudsman with the Centralina Area Agency on Aging, and she advocates for residents at nursing homes.

“They're coming in with a very specific plan to look at just issues surrounding that particular complaint,” Abounader said.

She said it's common for state investigators to visit homes, but that this investigation, now in the third day, may have been spurred by Channel 9’s report.

“I think it is highly likely that, given some of the media coverage that the facility received over the last couple days leading up to the weekend,” Abounader said.

That is a welcome sign for one woman who didn't want to be identified.

She's concerned about the care here because her mother is a resident.

She saw Channel 9’s report last week and hopes the attention will bring improvements.

“I'm glad that you're here,” she said. “I'm more than glad that you're here.”

State officials said it's going to be at least 10 days before they release the report.

Paul called and emailed the administrator at the center but has not gotten a response.

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