Former home care workers charged

Two certified nursing assistants at a Palisade assisted living center received summonses after an elderly woman fell out of a chair and spent hours sleeping on the floor covered in her own urine and vomit.

Melinda Meyer, 24, of Grand Junction and Robin Martinez, 31, of Pear Park each face a misdemeanor charge of negligence for the alleged incident that occurred at The Retreat at Palisade, an assisted living facility center that houses about 80 people, Palisade Police Chief Carroll Quarles said.

The elderly woman was taken to St. Mary’s Hospital after she was discovered on the floor, but she did not sustain any injuries, Quarles said. Police were notified of the allegations by the elderly woman’s daughter, Quarles said.

Retreat director Chris Murillo said the two CNAs were fired immediately, and the staff called the state’s Department of Human Services and local police. Murillo said the former staff members weren’t being malicious, but they became complacent.

“We have a zero-tolerance policy,” Murillo said. “We take this very seriously. Hopefully, these people never work in this kind of environment again, with at-risk populations.”

Murillo said the alleged victim’s family was satisfied with how the facility handled the situation. The elderly woman had lived at the facility for the past three years. Meyer and Martinez had worked at The
Retreat between six months and a year, and both passed a criminal background check, Murillo said.

According to a police report, the elderly woman had been put to bed, but she was last seen at about midnight sitting in a chair, something that was typical for the woman.

Staff members are supposed to check on clients every two hours during the 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. shift, but the elderly woman was found on the floor during the shift change the next morning, the report said.


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