Wake Forest Nursing Home Goes to the Dogs

A Wake Forest News reader asked a great question the other day, Steve wanted to know what was going to happen to the old Wake Forest nursing home the State shutdown in 2012. As usual we had to start with “don’t know.” So we did that thing we do and headed out to get the scoop.

The old Wake Forest Care Center which now sits abandoned.
The old Wake Forest Care Center which now sits vacant and kind of abandoned.

The nursing home is on South Allen Street in Wake Forest. It was called the Wake Forest Care Center but today it’s just called abandoned. Or so I thought. Power and utilities are on at the facility so someone is responsible for the property.

In 2012 the State of North Carolina expeditiously closed down the nursing home after a resident died. McKinley High, 79, a retired farmer from Spring Hope, had wandered off from the facility and was struck and killed by a motorist not far away. But that wasn’t the only death of a resident. In 2006 another resident was found dead. Miklos Ankhelyi, 67, wandered away while living at the home and drowned in a nearby creek.

Troubles with the facility went back years. In 2009 the Department of Health and Human Services was involved in an incident at the home. A month after entering Wake Forest Care Center, Harry O. Rake had to spend three weeks in the hospital to recover from an infected bedsore he developed at the assisted living home, state records show. And there was allegedly a 2008 incident, in which a resident went for weeks without treatment for painful dental problems, and problems with poor monitoring of smoking residents, one of whom twice set himself on fire. – Source

Wake Forest Care Center, looking down a hall.
Wake Forest Care Center, looking down a hall.

A previous article said the owner of the nursing home was Burlington, North Carolina lawyer, Richard Cresenzo. However according to Department of Health and Human Services the property owner is actually Horizon, Inc. and it has a Reidsville, North Carolina address. Cresenzo is listed as the president of the company as linked to Wake Forest Care Center, Inc., August Holdings, Inc., and another couple of elder facilities; Highgrove Longterm Care Center in Reidsville, NC and Windham Hall in Keansville, NC.

Even a doll at the facility was abandoned.
Even a doll at the facility was abandoned.

Turns out Cresenzo and his Windham Hall facility were in the news recently when Cresenzo notified the Keansville police of theft and losses. After a sixth month investigation a former maintenance man and the former director of the facility were arrested. – Source

Jeremy Chad Casteen and Phyliss Brown Casteen arrested in Windham Hill thefts.
Jeremy Chad Casteen and Phyliss Brown Casteen arrested in Windham Hill thefts.

Well that history was all a bit of a downer but from the ashes has risen good news and positive efforts.

Ready for the Good News?

Expecting the old nursing home to be abandoned you can’t imagine the surprise we felt when we pulled into the parking lot of the home only to be surrounded by police vehicles from multiple jurisdictions with police dogs. Frankly the scene looked like a SWAT operation ready to pounce and we just landed right in the middle of it.

With some trepidation we exited the vehicle and found out the facility has a second life in its current state. It seems it is sometimes used as a training facility for law enforcement and today it was being used for K-9 training.

The property owners might have had a troubled past but they should certainly be commended for allowing law enforcement to use the empty facility for the greater good.

Law enforcement officers from Wake Forest were there with their dogs, as well as officers from Cabarrus County and Lenoir County in North Carolina. There was even an officer or two from Montana.

In what must certainly be a full loop of karma the experienced canine professionals running the training today were from Southern Police Canine which is in Spring Hope, North Carolina, the same town the resident that died was from.

Police officer from Cabarrus County near Charlotte and Bas prepare to train.
Police officer from Cabarrus County near Charlotte and Bas prepare to train.

The canine training is crucial for both dog and officer development and is an exceptionally wonderful use of the facility. Not only do the law enforcement officers get the practice but the facility has unexpected drop in forces that keep the area safe.

This isn’t like one officer drove by in a car, this is a bunch of officers and police dogs surrounding the facility. We feel safer already and we don’t even live in the neighborhood.

Different forms of training were conducted there on Tuesday including a round of “find the perp” and “weed, weed, where is the weed.” Rest assured both were found with exceptional skill and professionalism.

So Steve I hope you are satisfied now with what’s going on with the old assisted living facility.

1 thought on “Wake Forest Nursing Home Goes to the Dogs”

  1. Are you sure that doll is abandoned? I think it may be more than it appears to be. Sure looks like a weeping angel as introduced in one of the best Doctor Who episodes ever – “Don’t Blink”. If you go back there, don’t look away. And don’t blink.

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