State Investigating Personal Care Home Where Resident Drowned

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STROUD TOWNSHIP -- The Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare is looking into a personal care home in Monroe County. One of its residents went missing last week, and was found dead in a lake behind the facility.

Darlene Bancey was found dead about 12 hours after she walked out of the Lakewood Personal Care home near Stroudsburg.

Now the state is investigating to see if what they are calling "regulatory procedures" were followed in a facility that was slapped with violations earlier this year.

It was one week ago that Darlene Bancey, 63, went missing from Lakewood Personal Care Home and drowned in the lake behind the facility.

It's an investigation neighbors say is warranted.

"I believe it is, I believe it is, because obviously someone was not looked out for at dinner time," said Barbara DuPuy of Stroud Township.

The facility is also known as Salisbury Behavioral Health. The people who live there are free to come and go.

Employees from the Department of Public Welfare were there Friday to see if proper procedures were being followed.

"As far as I know, they must run the operation pretty well because they're quiet. We've never had any disturbance here," said Gordon Jahn of Stroud Township.

But according to inspection records, the Lakewood Personal Care home has had prior troubles and violations.

In January, records show it failed to report abuse when two residents got into a fight, one suffered serious injuries.

Other violations over the past two years include a freezer malfunction, no posted activities, and an uncooperative resident during a fire drill.

Folks living in this part of Stroud Township say they aren't sure what's going to come of the investigation into this personal care home, but people living in the Analomink Lake private community right across the road say they just want to be kept informed of what's going on in their neighborhood.

"We know nothing, we personally know nothing. And I think that other residents are in the same boat," said Anne Jahn of Stroud Township.

Some say keeping these residents in the loop might even benefit those living at Lakewood if an incident like this were to happen again.

"I'm just concerned because I know if I had a loved one in a facility, I would like to be sure that they were taking care of that person and looking out for them," said DuPuy.

Officials with the Department of Public Welfare say the investigation is ongoing and they expect to complete it within 30 days.

Lakewood Personal Care Home could possibly face fines, a change in license, or other disciplinary actions depending on what is found through this investigation.

1 Comment

  • just observing

    Not to discount in any way the facts of this particular case which we apparently don’t know at this time but please learn how the survey process and regulations work before using the words and terminology to sound ominous. In any survey there are almost always “violations”…rarely does any facility come away completely in compliance. The surveyors would appear to be not be doing their job if any facility was free and clear. I do not know this facility nor do I care to research past surveys. The ability to come and go is generally the standard in personal care. It is not a nursing home. No posted activities generally mean no one copied the schedule and hung it up or they forgot to write on the white board. Not life altering but regulations say it must be done. Equipment malfunctions and breaks. As for a fight between residents…can happen anywhere despite best efforts. You are cranky and bicker with your neighbor. Your neighbor is 3 feet away from you. Some of you throw things or even get physical. These are capable people, generally elderly, who for some reason cannot live alone but they are not or should not be demented residents left willy nilly. Things happen. You do your best to stop them. As far as reporting, there is a specific process. If in any way, even unintentional, you veer off that process, you will get cited for it.

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