Home > Uncategorized > Waltham group home reportedly temporarily shut down due to insect infestation

Waltham group home reportedly temporarily shut down due to insect infestation

Five residents of a group home in Waltham for persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities were evacuated from the residence last week after it was ordered shut down due to an insect infestation, according to the mother of one of the residents.

Christine Davidson, whose son John is a resident of the home, which is run by WCI, Inc., a corporate provider to the Department of Developmental Services (DDS), said her son and the other residents have been temporarily moved into the Marriott Hotel in Woburn. She said it has been difficult to get information about the situation, and no one has told her when the group home will reopen.

Christine has previously raised concerns about what she contends are unhygienic conditions in the residence.

The insects appear to be cockroaches, based on a photo taken by Christine of her son’s BiPAP breathing machine, which appears to have two roaches inside it. Christine said that when John came home to her house over the weekend, she saw bugs in his breathing machine, and said two bugs crawled out of his wheelchair. BiPAP and CPAP machines are used to treat sleep apnea.

A portion of John’s breathing machine, which appears to contain two cockroaches. (Photo taken by Christine Davidson.)

It is unclear whether the group home was ordered shut after an inspection by DDS. The Department conducts licensure inspections of both provider-run and state-run group homes.

I sent an email Tuesday morning to DDS Commissioner Jane Ryder, asking whether the Department had any comment on the shutdown of the home, and whether the shutdown is an isolated incident. Ryder has not yet responded to my message.

Christine said the residents are being fed meals in their rooms in the hotel. She said John has been taken on a daily basis to his day program in Medford since his move to the hotel, but has few other activities while he is in his hotel room.

She said she is concerned her son’s health may be at risk as a result of the infestation. “Right now, he (John) doesn’t have a breathing machine,” she said. “It’s a dangerous situation.” She said the group home took back his contaminated machine.

Christine said she believes John could have picked up a pulmonary infection by using a machine that was infested with roaches. She said she has made several calls to her son’s DDS service coordinator and the coordinator’s supervisor hoping to relay her concerns and get answers to her questions, but no one has called her back.

Christine has previously raised concerns about unsanitary conditions at the Waltham group home, including the allegedly unhygienic state of John’s BiPAP breathing mask. On February 3, 2022,  Steven Cohen, a gastroenterologist with Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, also stated in a medical progress note that John’s breathing mask at that time was “apparently not hygienic.”

Also last February, Christine sent us photos of potentially unsanitary conditions inside the group home, including a clogged air vent, a dirty bathroom, and what appeared to be insect larvae on John’s clothing in his bedroom dresser drawer. At the time, we were not able to confirm that the objects on his clothing were actually larvae.

Christine said that despite her complaints, the unhygienic conditions in the group home have persisted over the past year. It is unclear why those issues have lingered until they apparently triggered a shutdown of the residence.

We are receiving more frequent reports of a lack of activities and proper care of residents in group homes around the state. These reports appear to stem, at least in part, from an ongoing staffing shortage since the COVID pandemic began.

  1. Pat
    February 15, 2023 at 12:12 pm

    Christine has showed me pictures over the past year but the latest ones she sent are unbelievable. To have them send John’s wheelchair and Cpap home with cockroaches in them so that now Christine and John’s home also has them is unthinkable. If Christine’s concerns and pictures about the uncleanliness in the home had been listened to before the clients may not have been disrupted by having to move to a hotel


    February 15, 2023 at 1:13 pm

    First of that charge against Christine and the cough syrup was another attempt to make her look unfit to take care of John by WCI and DDS the same as when they stole Christine’s Guardianship by telling lies to judge McSweeney.
    They don’t want to loose John.
    They are desperate in fear of losing the funding they get for John.
    I contacted Disabled Person’s Protection Commission a month or two ago telling them of the poor conditions at Kendall park and the investigator said she found nothing wrong.
    I think the Governor needs to step in and investigate all these programs and the people that run them.
    John was forced to live there and wants to live back home with his mother and me.


  3. janet marcus
    February 15, 2023 at 1:15 pm

    That is absolutely disgusting & inexcusable. Politicians need to be informed & have copies of the photos. Wouldn’t hurt to get it on tv as well. Prisons would be cleaner.


  4. February 15, 2023 at 2:25 pm

    I’ve just read this horrific story on this clients life saving medical device . As a mom who’s son also had 2 pieces of life saving medical devices I am responding .
    My son died in his sleep due to a seizure as his monitor that had expired batteries . My sole purpose of Tommy’s Law in Congress now filed a third time is to protect people like my son who rely on life saving medical equipment to live. Breathing is everyone’s right . Persons with disabilities living in Residential are staffed by persons without any training on many types of medical equipment as this client in your story and sadly my son. Tommys Law would require Registered Nurses to train and educate staff on why this equipment is vital, and how to maintain all life saving medical equipment. Off all the people in Residential Homes not every house has clients requiring this medical equipment. There is no excuse that loved ones in Residential Homes are not protected my a Professional who already works at these Residential Homes.
    Last term we came very very close to getting to the last step and my heart will not rest until I and my daughters know that others like our wonderful Tommy will have the best protection so families will not go through such pain.
    Senator Patrick O’Connor SD657
    Rep. Rogers HD 2138
    This is a simple bill that will save the lives of our most vulnerable .


  5. Anonymous
    February 16, 2023 at 2:41 pm

    For months Christine has shared with me John’s deplorable living situation. She has expressed concern to management on several occasions, but nothing has been done. Now that this has finally been exposed, I hope that John’s group home (as well as ALL group and nursing homes) will be inspected frequently. These residents cannot advocate for themselves. They deserve better!
    Jo Ann


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