The administrator of Rudy’s Agape House, who essentially evicted several elderly patients with dementia and Alzheimer’s with 36 hours notice last week, can reopen a new assisted living facility at a new location.
According to the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration, Nancy Cushman opened a new license for a four-bedroom home at 2104 55th Ave. W., dubbed Rudy’s Agape House II.
Cushman closed her original Rudy’s Agape House license on Monday, just three days after she was evicted from her rented facility at 5426 18th St. W. Cushman had given her residents’ family members just 36 hours before that to get their loved ones and their belongings out of the facility.
AHCA licensed Cushman prior to her latest actions.
Cushman’s new license, under Rudy’s Agape House II, was opened in June 2016. She then stopped paying rent in October, and knew by February that she would eventually be evicted but never told the residents or family members. She even collected their rent checks on March 1, before telling them to leave by March 10.
AHCA announced last week it was monitoring the situation, and the Florida Department of Children and Family Services opened an investigation. Cushman’s new license is valid until June of 2018, unless either AHCA or DCF takes action against her pending the outcome of the investigation.
Shelisha Coleman, AHCA press secretary, said just about anyone can open an assisted living facility as long as they “demonstrate financial ability to operate” the facility, among other factors.
The property where the first Rudy’s was operating is owned by Sandra Campbell, a retired registered nurse with a clean background.
Cushman did not tell family members that Campbell had made arrangements for a new administrator and that the eviction was only related to Cushman because she lived at the facility. Campbell wanted Cushman gone, but the residents did not have to leave, according to Campbell’s attorney and the eviction order.
Families have complained at the lack of regulations pertaining to assisted living facility operations and the consistency of state inspections. Coleman said facilities are inspected every six to 12 months depending on the nature of the license, and if a complaint is received.
To become an administrator of an assisted living facility with residents suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s, the administrator is required, “to take a minimum of 26 hours of ALF Core Training, and pass the test with a minimum score of 75 percent,” Coleman said.
Linda Sarine said that is completely inadequate for people like her 89-year-old aunt who was living at what Sarine called a “hellhole.”
Sarine, who lives out of state and is not the primary caregiver to her aunt, said she reported the facility to social services, “and it passed inspection. I said, ‘No way is that possible.’ It was filthy and substandard.”
Family members complained of bed bug infestations when they picked up their loved ones from Rudy’s Agape House. Other local assisted living facilities confirmed belongings of transferred patients had to be fumigated.