A beleaguered company accused of neglecting and abusing people with disabilities has sold off most of its programs in New Hampshire.
Lakeview Neurorehabilitation Center in Effingham has come under heavy fire for neglecting the people it is paid to care for – minors and adults with disabilities and brain injuries. Since September the facility has been under review by the state.
And until last week, parent company Lakeview Systems owned eight other programs with a total of about 55 beds in six New Hampshire communities.
"NeuroRestorative acquired eight programs previously run by Lakeview. And they are community-based, brain-injury rehabilitation programs throughout the state of New Hampshire," says Sarah Magazine, a spokeswoman for NeuroRestorative.
When the sale went through on December 29. Lakeview Systems, which also operates facilities in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, did not respond to inquiries about the sale.
That leaves just one facility under Lakeview’s control – that’s the facility under scrutiny by New Hampshire.
And now by Maine as well. Mainers fill 39 of the 88 beds in Lakeview's Effingham facility.
Katrina Ringrose with the Maine Disability Rights Center says her organization recently visited Lakeview, and she says Maine DRC was shocked to find one Maine resident restricted to what she calls a “cage-bed.”
"This is a bed that has four padded walls and there isn’t anything over the top. But it’s something that this individual’s not able to get out of," says Ringrose. "It's absolutely, completely shocking, and we do believe that there are alternatives - definitely more humane, less restrictive ways to support people than to use a totally enclosed bed."
Ringrose adds it is unclear how often this resident is restricted to the bed, and for what reasons.
But a Lakeview spokesperson said this bed is used to keep patients safe while sleeping.
"This type of bed is used in facilities that treat patients with traumatic brain injuries, cerebral palsy, Huntington’s Disease and epilepsy so that they don’t injure themselves. These are known as 'modular rehab treatment beds,'” said the spokesperson.
The state of Maine is seeking new placements for all Maine residents currently in Lakeview.