Administrator describes Twilite Manor as “open” while DHEC review continues

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Published: Mar. 14, 2022 at 5:29 PM EDT|Updated: Mar. 14, 2022 at 7:21 PM EDT
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UPDATE: DHEC confirmed to WIS on Tuesday, March 15, Twilite Manor has provided the requested documentation and “the assisted living facility is able to admit residents.” The DSS did not have an update.

On Monday, the administrator of a scrutinized assisted living center in Cayce said the facility is “open,” just over three weeks after the Cayce Police Department evacuated its residents.

Administrator Lonell Phaire told WIS the facility was open and said she expects S.C. Department of Social Services will be returning residents, but wasn’t sure when or how many would return.

A spokesperson for the DSS sent WIS a statement reading:

DSS is monitoring the situation to see when Twilite Manor will reopen and currently has no plans to transport residents back to the facility at this time.

The updates come during an ongoing review by the Department of Health and Environmental Control into the procedures and record keeping at the facility.

The review stems from the Feb. 18 evacuation of 14 residents by the Cayce Police Department, spurred by the death of a resident.

The Lexington County Coroner later identified the cause of death as pneumonia and the department opened a criminal investigation into the facility.

The day of the evacuation, Chief Chris Cowan expressed concern about the conditions within the facility. Later that day, DHEC released a statement reading in part:”DHEC staff did not observe any conditions or practices that pose an immediate threat to the health, safety, and welfare of the residents.”

A joint statement from the Cayce PD, DHEC and DSS identified later identified the following issues with the facility.

  • Twilite Manor did not have sufficient staff to provide adequate supervision, direct care and basic services for all residents as of 7 a.m. on Feb. 18. State law requires one staff member per eight residents, and Twilite Manor has 16 residents. Two staff members should have been present.
  • Twilite Manor did not administer medications to residents the morning of Feb. 18.
  • Residents were not provided breakfast the morning of Feb. 18.

DHEC required the facility to submit a corrective plan to address the staffing and related issues, which the department accepted on Feb. 28.

On March 11, DHEC informed WIS that Twilite Manor officials reached out to DHEC and indicated a desire to reopen its facilities after a department regulatory inspection.

Later that day, DHEC reported not receiving staff training and health screening documents necessary as part of the requested inspection As a result, the department required a second corrective plan from the facility to address the document shortfall.

RELATED STORY | Twilite Manor reopening uncertain after DHEC asks for missing documents

In response to the plan, the department wrote:

Department strongly requests the Facility complete and provide evidence of the in-service trainings and health assessment prior to itsreopening.

The second corrective plan was submitted on March 13th and rejected on March 14th, citing a lack of preventative action laid out by the facility.

A third corrective action plan was submitted on March 14th, which only partially accepted due to the same issues.

DHEC spokesperson Cristi Moore said to DHEC’s knowledge, the facility remains closed.

However, Moore said the facility closed voluntarily in the aftermath of the evacuation. She said the facility retains its license and could re-open without DHEC’s blessing (regarding the documents).

WIS reached out to the spokesperson for the Cayce Police Department about the status of the facility and received a statement reading:

We will do a story where we correct inaccuracies, provide facts and footage and conduct interviews once the investigation is over.

WIS reached out to the owner of the facility Ronald Gunraj for comment.

Lexington County EMS was involved in the evacuation, but a spokesperson said it has not been contacted about returning residents.

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