Fort Worth

Westchester Plaza resident found dead Monday night outside facility

A Westchester Plaza resident was found dead Monday night outside the facility. The state is investigating the death. Residents have been told to move by Aug. 10 because the facility is shutting down.
A Westchester Plaza resident was found dead Monday night outside the facility. The state is investigating the death. Residents have been told to move by Aug. 10 because the facility is shutting down. mfaulkner@star-telegram.com

A resident at the Westchester Plaza assisted-living center was found dead outside the building Monday night, just a week after the troubled facility informed residents that it would be closing next month.

Lonnie W. Manning, 61, reportedly went outside at about 6:45 p.m., which is not uncommon for residents. Manning was found by a Westchester Plaza employee less than an hour later slumped over in his wheelchair, police said.

The employee attempted CPR, but was unsuccessful, police said.

Information on a cause of death was not yet available on the Tarrant County medical examiner’s website. The temperature just before 7 p.m. was 92 degrees, according to the National Weather Service, with a heat index above 100 degrees.

Kelli Weldon, a spokeswoman with the Texas Health & Human Services Commission, which oversees the Department on Aging and Disability Services, which regulates the facility, said Tuesday the death was reported and the agency is investigating.

Last week, the 117 residents at Westchester Plaza, at 554 S. Summit Ave. in the city’s Medical District, were told they needed to move by Aug. 10 because the facility was being shuttered. It was licensed for 275 people, primarily low-income elderly and disabled individuals.

In the past several years, Westchester Plaza has faced financial hardship and complaints of inadequate staffing, residents missing medications and a leaky roof that flooded the top floor. The owners paid $30,000 in civil penalties to the Texas Attorney General’s Office to settle a lawsuit stemming from complaints that the facility did not have a working sprinkler system for eight months in 2012.

The property was sold recently to the Fort Worth-based capital investment firm E Capital Partners, which acquired the Housing and Urban Development loan on the property in a bulk sale, the company said. WGH Heritage, owner of Westchester Plaza, blames the closure on changes to the Medicaid system that made it difficult to continue operating.

Westchester Plaza owners notified the Texas Department on Aging and Disability Services and were required to give 30 days notice to the residents.

Sen. Ted Cruz says that allowing states to have flexibility on medicaid and reforming the Affordable Care Act’s Title I measure are key for Senate Republicans to reach an agreement on healthcare reform.

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