Adult home’s license imperiled

State officials are trying to remove the caretaker’s license from Alicia’s Adult Family Home in Oak Harbor.

Violations claimed by the state include failure to provide necessary services and requiring a resident to share a room with the owner’s father-in-law.

Officials from the state Department of Social and Health Services will hear arguments on March 29 that the charges are not true.

“I cry every night about what happened,” said the home’s owner, Alicia Sinclair. “I treat them really good, only the one accident happened.”

The accident involved a female resident, whose name was not available, who allegedly fell out of a wheelchair, resulting in bruises around the patient’s eye.

But according to state documents that outline the allegations against the home, the patient “grabbed her own hair and hit herself with her own fist and pointed in the provider’s direction,” when asked how the bruising happened.

Sinclair told interviewers a different version.

“First she said Former Resident number 2 walked outside in the grass and fell and then she said Former Resident number 2 was in the garage in the wheel chair, fell down and bruised her eye,” the state’s statement of deficiency alleges.

But this does not mean that Sinclair abused the resident. DSHS spokesman Bob McClintock said that the state can not prove any abuse and is not pursuing those charges.

“I can only speculate that we didn’t have any evidence to put it in the abuse or neglect (category),” he said. “Certainly the resident had a bruise that was unexplained.”

Island County currently has 18 adult family homes, which can have a maximum of six residents and require a state license. They differ from nursing homes in that the care provided is not medical. Care takers assist with daily activities.

McClintock said that the state believes that what is outlined in the reports is factual.

“The thing about this is that we wouldn’t take this action if we didn’t think it was a firm footing,” he said.

The state also alleges that Sinclair required one of her residents to play the role of caretaker, sharing a room with her father-in-law and having to ring a bell when the father-in-law needed assistance.

“My father-in-law, I considered him my client,” Sinclair said. “That is what happened, he was my client.”

Sinclair said she did not know it was against her license regulations to have family members share bedrooms with clients. But according to the Washington Administrative Code, “The provider, resident manager, or family members shall not use as bedrooms those areas of the home designated as common use areas, or share bedrooms with residents.”

“I did not know that at the time,” Sinclair said.

Sinclair said that she is appealing the revocation because none of the other allegations are true.

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