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People With Mental Illnesses in North Carolina Are Being Sent to Nutz R Us’s Long-Term Care Facilities

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A company operating several long-term care facilities for adults living with mental illnesses is, once again, coming under question for its poor choice of name.

Nutz R Us, incorporated in 2008, owns three assisted living facilities in Buncombe County, North Carolina, designated to provide care for those who cannot care for themselves.

According to an investigation by Carolina Public Press (CPP), despite years of requests and concerns from community members and public health officials, the name has not been changed. Legally, Nutz R Us is not required to change its name since the name does not violate North Carolina statutes for incorporated companies.

Concerns have also been raised about the quality of care offered by Nutz R Us. While some families can choose not to send their loved ones to Nutz R Us-operated homes, others do not have a choice. A parent of a mentally ill adult placed in a Nutz R Us facility by a court-ordered guardian, contacted the CPP over concerns about their child’s care.

In an interview with CPP, Cindy Barisa Wolff, the director of Hope for the Future – the guardianship company responsible for the Nutz R Us placement – agrees the company’s name is offensive. However, Wolff said Nutz R Us provides care that other facilities in the area cannot.

As part of its investigation, CPP found a history of uncleanliness, slipping inspections grades, improper employee training and patient negligence. “A patient suffering from multiple diagnoses including schizophrenia had not had timely administration of medication because a staff member ‘forgot’ to order his monthly injection,” CPP reported, citing previous inspections for one of the facilities.

Complaints about cleanliness include improperly sealed and expired food, rooms and chairs that had not been cleaned in months, foreign stains in kitchens and bathrooms and a cockroach infestation. Other violations cited a child, who was not a patient of the facility, living in the house, and the facility not complying with a patient’s specific dietary needs.

The company does not have a significant web presence. Both its Yellow Pages listing and Facebook page have a one star review and two negative comments regarding the business name.

A spokesperson from the company could not be reached for comment.

Editor’s Note: The imagery used for this article is a stock photograph and does not represent any Nutz R Us facility. 

Originally published: June 27, 2016
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