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Owner of Group Home on Palm Coast’s Braddock Lane Faces 5 Felony Counts for Elderly Neglect

| July 7, 2017

Paradise Group Home on Braddock Lane, above, is one of several such group homes and assisted living facilities operating out of residential homes.

Paradise Group Home on Braddock Lane, above, is one of several such group homes and assisted living facilities operating out of residential homes.

Olufunmilayo Oduyejo, the 61-year-old owner of a group home registered to Paradise Group Home LLC at 15 Braddock Lane in Palm Coast, faces five felony counts of elderly neglect after two residents at the group home had to be hospitalized and three evacuated Wednesday. The air conditioning in the house hadn’t been working at a time when the heat index in Palm Coast rose past 100 during daytime this week.


Oduyejo was in Georgia when the issues were detected–not by caretakers at the house, who included co-owner Cecelia Olufunmilayo, but by Jacqueline Bello of the Agency For Adults With Disabilities. (Olufunmilayo Oduyejo, a Flagler County Sheriff’s report states, contacted 911 from Georgia and said he was en route back to Palm Coast.) Bello was visiting the house at the time. She discovered that at least two patients needed medical attention and were not receiving it. One, a 63-year-old woman who had recently had hip surgery, had fallen. Her blood pressure was not normal. Another, a 50-year-old man, was suffering from shortness of breath. Both were taken to Florida Hospital Flagler.

The other residents appeared to be in good health, though they are severely disabled and don’t have the ability to communicate, the sheriff’s report notes. They are 50, 36 and 27 year-old men.

The temperature in the house was 91 degrees. Cecelia Oduyejo said the air conditioning unit had stopped working the previous night, and that the air conditioning repair person would be at the house the following day. But she could not provide a deputy with any information about that company. So Bello informed Oduyejo that the remaining three residents had to leave the house immediately, as agency housing regulations require the temperature in group homes to be between 74 and 81 degrees. Oduyejo made arrangements with Econo Lodge and said she would be transporting the residents.

“It should be noted that although the residents appeared to be in good health, they were very sweaty and uncomfortable,” the sheriff’s report states.

Once Olufunmilayo Oduyejo–who is better known by his first name as Funmi–returned to Palm Coast, the deputy made contact with him at the Econo Lodge. “He informed me that he knew that the air conditioner was not working and hasn’t been working in two days,” the deputy reported. Oduyejo then appeared to blame one of his residents: “Olufunmilayo also stated that [the patient who just had hip surgery] likes to exaggerate when it comes to her injuries,” the deputy reported, “but [Oduyejo] always tries to attend to each resident.”

The Paradise Group Home owner then claimed a man called “Mike” would be fixing the air conditioner, but he couldn’t say when. Air conditioning companies generally provide a window of time when a repair call is scheduled.

The Sheriff’s deputy contacted the Department of Children’s and Families, who accepted the agency’s report and said the department would conduct a follow-up investigation. Five counts of felony neglect were forwarded to the State Attorney’s Office, which will decide whether to file the charges against Olufunmilayo Oduyejo.

Department of State records indicate Olufunmilayo and Cecelia Oduyejo have operated Paradise Group Home at the Braddock Lane address since February 2010. They have owned the 2,000-square-foot house since 2007. It is not homesteaded. They had also operated the Vinyard Group Home, at 66 Russell Drive, but only until 2015. Currently, the Oduyejos are the listed owners of a vacant property at 21 Birchbark Lane, a homesteaded house they bought in 2015 at 61 Biltvue Place, and a vacant property at 4 Ryan Drive.

In 2009, they were foreclosed at 158 Westwood Drive in Daytona Beach. In October 2002, Funmi Oduyejo had filed for bankruptcy

In a letter to the editor published in the News-Journal in August 2009, Funmi Oduyejo had complained about the bureaucracy of the Medicaid system, which underwrites his operations: “Sometimes, you cannot get a human to speak with for months; most times, you leave a requested detailed message for your supposed contact and nobody cares to call you back. Arguably, one might have been dead, buried and forgotten before his doctor could get a reply to a simple question.”

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27 Responses for “Owner of Group Home on Palm Coast’s Braddock Lane Faces 5 Felony Counts for Elderly Neglect”

  1. Just the truth says:

    These places need to be visited more often by authorities. I can’t believe they are even allowed.

  2. Wishful Thinking says:

    These type homes should be banned period. It’s tough to get perfect care inside a hospital let alone private group homes run by uncaring people looking for easy money. Amen

  3. Peaches McGee says:

    You can thank our wonderful governor for re-regulating these facilities. They were popping up like flies with no oversight or inspections.

    Our governor, with a net worth over $100 million and past CEO of numerous for-profit hospital corporations that paid 100’s of millions in fines. Then changed names and started over.

    Gotta love Flori-duh!

  4. r&r says:

    I think this happens more frequently then we here about. People doing this are in it ONLY for the money. They have No plan to do anything less then they have. I agree they should be visited often to make sure they comply, If violations are made they should go to jail for attempted murder.

  5. Had enough? says:

    Not all are bad. You have to do your homework and visit often.

  6. USA Lover says:

    Ho hum…I’m a Florida native and we never had air conditioning. Nothing to see here folks.

  7. Benjamin Bartlett says:

    USA Lover:

    When you have a group home with incontinent residents, you’ll
    understand why air conditioning is important. Also, you should know
    that people with respiratory problems and heart conditions need
    climate-controlled environments. It’s very difficult for a weakened
    person to breathe heavy, humid air.

    That’s why heat and high humidity advisories are issued, to prevent
    the old and infirm from dropping dead via heart attacks and respiratory
    failure. Also, elderly people are known to not drink enough water,
    so they dehydrate when it’s too warm. Dehydration means thickened
    blood, and increases the chance of a cardiac event.

    Now you know that there is something to see here.

  8. palmcoaster says:

    Do away with this greedy money making group homes…Medicaid our government (my taxes) provided service need to do a better work than these “greedy group homes”

  9. tulip says:

    Were these poor souls left all alone? That’s the impression I get. If so, how awful.

  10. Komodo Dragon says:

    Home Depot, Lowe’s, Sears,and a number of local stores sell window and portable AC’s. No excuses for their cheap ass, penny pinching, greed when there are lives on the line. Fans are cheap too rendering any excuse invalid. My AC breaks down and I have someone in my home the same day.

  11. Benjamin Bartlett says:

    palmcoaster:

    Better oversight and surprise inspections are what’s needed.
    Some of the group homes are very good, and provide a choice
    besides Grand Oaks and Flagler Pines.

    Elderly and sick people aren’t disposable inconveniences, and
    they shouldn’t be viewed as targets from which to suck Social Security
    and Medicaid dollars every month.

    Let’s not throw away the baby with the bath water.

  12. Wtf says:

    What is wrong with humans🤦‍♂️

  13. palmcoaster says:

    I agree with you Benjamin but the problem is that “Better oversight and surprise inspections are what’s needed” never materializes. Meanwhile our fellow elderly and special needs Americans too often in some of those group homes are suffering or dying over greed. I pay like you do taxes to serve them humane care not what is reported.

  14. another vet says:

    no more business should be done out of houses in residental areas

  15. Sadie Stevens says:

    Where are these patients families? Why are they not visiting often enough that they will see the abuse these predators that only care about the money are subjecting these disabled people to?

  16. Benjamin Bartlett says:

    About the group homes….

    Usually a CNA, who owns a spare property, will on their own, or with a spouse,
    start looking to fill 5 beds or so in said property. The groceries are bought at Sam’s Club,
    or other economical vendor(s). The home is supposed to provide healthy and balanced
    meals (or prescribed diet) to the patient, as well as assistance with showering, and
    bathroom visits. The patients are supposed to be supervised 24/7 with a CNA or higher
    on premises at all times, without fail. This rule is frequently broken from sundown to sun up..

    With Medicaid and the patient’s Social Security, they’ll pull in about $3,000 a head monthly.
    Medical and prescription needs are covered by the government or other insurance, so the
    group home does not pay for this. Usually the patient gets to keep a small amount of money
    per month from their Social Security to buy sundries, toothpaste, etc., and the occasional
    article of clothing. Typically it’s 30.00 a month.

    What the unscrupulous owners do is maximise the money coming in by “cheaping-out” on
    meals, and not have a CNA on the clock whenever possible.

    I know of a married couple in the “P” section with multiple homes, who love serving white rice as
    a base for all meals with hot dogs sliced in half, as the meat in a white bread sandwich.
    If you have a relative there–you’ll know who I mean.

    Patients need to be visited constantly, and without any pattern. Try to show up when lunch or
    dinner are served, and see if the patient’s clothes are clean. Ask to see the medicine log.

    If you see something wrong, call Medicaid’s managed care agency (one such is American Eldercare),
    then call DCF. Contact elected officials. Bring a small camera and take pictures. Be persistent even
    if it’s not in your nature.

    Be a pain in the ass. If this isn’t tolerated, then it’s time to go to another home.

  17. Benjamin Bartlett says:

    2 more things…

    If you find your relative or friend who resides in a group home with bruises,
    or other injuries (even with explanations), call the sheriff’s office and arrange
    for a deputy to document the injury(ies). Again–take pictures.
    Pick up your cell phone and use it.

    Here’s another agency which can help:
    http://ahca.myflorida.com/Contact/call_center.shtml

    The link is applicable to hospitals, nursing homes, nursing agencies, and
    group gomes.

  18. Benjamin Bartlett says:

    palmcoaster:

    The problem is with ALL eldercare facilities, unfortunately.
    But the little ones slip through the cracks easier.

    I cared for my mother, who had Alzheimer’s Disease for thirteen
    years under my roof. My wife helped me a lot, as well as the occasional
    CNA’s who were sent to my home. I realize that most people can’t do
    this, as it takes its toll on you and your family.

    Hard as it was, at least I can say that I kept Mom at home until she
    gave out. She made it to 89.

    The only times she wasn’t home, was when she was hospitalized (numerous times)
    and when discharged, was sent for weeks at a time to rehab facilities.
    I saw a lot of bad things, and spoke with a lot of families, especially at two
    large facilities in Flagler.

    Getting old and sick isn’t much of a reward for lives well-lived.
    I’m not sure what I would do if sentenced to being cared for by strangers.
    I think that plan “B” (cash in my chips) would be my route.
    That is, if my mind is still clear…

    In other cultures the elderly are revered, too bad that in ours, old people
    are viewed as a drain on society. That is truly sad.

    I’m stepping off the soapbox now.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Thank you, Mr Bartlett.

  20. palmcoaster says:

    God Bless you Benjamin for taking such a good care of your Mom.
    My Mom resided in her small house totally self sufficient near enough children that will keep watch over her as she was always a very strong, fiercely independent and proud lady, until an old pancreas issue he had when she was 60 and refused surgery came back to haunt her at almost 83 and took her swiftly away from us. She was cared by her kids until the very last days when needed hospitalization.
    I wonder why so many nowadays children do not care as much for their elders on need…even once in these groups or nursing care do not watch enough for them. Maybe they do not take at all into account that one day will be in the same situation themselves.As for ourselves and with Gods help, we plan to follow my mom’s choices. Take care of the each other until one will be left to carry on and then will be the Almighty’s choice. I had already told my kids, no nursing home for me while I am still conscious and alert. I see enough cases around of still able body elderly forced out of their homes into nursing homes by their kids and falling on depression and dying even by suicide…Sad.

  21. Benjamin Bartlett says:

    palmcoaster:

    Thank you for your very kind words, as they have moved me more than I can say.
    Even though I may not know you–I can read between the lines and discern that
    you are a good and decent human-being.

    I am honored to have exchanged thoughts with you today. Your mother did a good
    job raising you, and she’d be proud to know that she contributed a good and beneficial
    person to society, and that’s quite a legacy I would think.

    I wish you and yours much happiness for many years to come.

    –Ben

  22. JasonB says:

    When Trump-care goes into effect this issue will be solved, because there won’t be any disabled, elderly, or sick people left. Welcome to the real death panels, Republican style.

  23. tulip says:

    Reply

    Wtf says:

    July 7, 2017 at 7:30 pm

    What is wrong with humans🤦‍♂️

    Too many aren’t anymore.

  24. Anonymous says:

    County workers (some being older than those in this home) worked in the old courthouse in 2007 in 86 degree temps and no county officials faced felony charges then. What’s the difference?

  25. reality check says:

    if you believe residents pull in $3000 a month you are dreaming. i have a relative that works for the State and she will tell you the reality is less than $2000 a month. Although I do not condone unreasonable living conditions but the two alternatives are living with their children who are often too busy take care of mom or dad or building state facilities which will increase state taxes. the choice is yours. its dismal growing old when you can not take care of yourself..

  26. Pam says:

    My daughter used to live in that house. The owner is always blaming everyone other than himself

  27. Pam says:

    I moved her out of the house after an issues. I am glad it got shut down. I have had already called DCF and filed a report that was still being investigated

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