Two Nurses Facing Neglect Charges

By: Jessica Zartler Email
By: Jessica Zartler Email

Two nurses are facing neglect charges after an incident at an assisted living facility in Palisade.

Police say an 85–year–old woman was left alone, fell out of her chair and slept in her own vomit and urine six hours before anyone found her.

The executive director at the Retreat at Palisade says as soon as she found out the nurses were fired. She says the company has a zero tolerance policy and reported the incident to all the necessary state agencies.

This incident brings to light what police say is the most important thing you can do for your family members--research.

Palisade Police Chief Carroll Quarles says he's turned the case over to the Mesa County District Attorney's Office.

"I thought it was very tragic," Quarles told 11 News on Wednesday.

He says it's been very hard on the family.

"If you don't trust or your trust is violated and then you lose your trust, it's kind of traumatic for people."

Chris Murillo is the Executive Director at The Retreat and says she was surprised to hear what happened.

"Definitely upset, somewhat shocked."

Murillo did background checks on the two nurses and turned up nothing.

"We have a zero tolerance policy and we try to find people that are going to give our patients the utmost care," Murillo told 11 News on Wednesday.

Her management company just took over the assisted living facility in January and with it, a tarnished record.

'We took on several deficiencies and we're very passionate about cleaning that up."

According to the Colorado Department of Health the state average for health violations on yearly inspections is 3.7. In an April inspection The Retreat had 11.

The assisted living facility is still not in compliance with the state
but Murillo says she and her staff are working hard to change that.

"We love our residents and we love our community," said Murillo.

Chief Quarles says the victim's family was satisfied with how The Retreat handled the situation and even the best facilities have problems.

The 13-year officer says the best thing you can do is arm yourself with information to make sure people taking care of your loved ones are doing their job.

The Colorado Department of Health has complaints and inspections for the past three years on every licensed assisted living facility and nursing home in the state on their website.

Just click on the link below to search the records.

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  • by Sandie Location: Grand Junction on Oct 17, 2008 at 06:54 AM
    As it has been stated these 2 persons are more then likely CNA's however the RN on site have authority over CNA's and as part of the RN responsibility to make sure their patients are being taken care of responsibly and with utmost respect. So were was the RN?
  • by Theresa Location: Grand Junction on Oct 16, 2008 at 02:23 PM
    This is a great story, but please, be accurate. These women are C.N.A.'s, not nurses. C.N.A.'s receive 5 weeks of training, nurses receive 18months to 4 plus years and are a very different field with different responsibilities. Under Colorado law it is illegal for a non nurse to call themselves a nurse, and it is irresponsible for the media (and damaging to nurses) to refer to two minimally trained people as nurses. Thank you for correcting this misperception
  • by Pat McDain Location: Grand Valley on Oct 15, 2008 at 11:14 PM
    Tragic and shocking, but more commonplace than you might think. My guess is those "nurses" were no more than CNA's, and they'll replace them with two other people for whom the only qualification is a pulse, because that's all they can get.
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