Elder-care providers have troubled past

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A former Carson City couple with a troubled past in the senior- and child-care industries is back in business in the area.

Mike and Norma Childers were granted a license in November to operate a home for individual residential care by the Nevada Division of Health, Bureau of Health Care Quality & Compliance. The Childerses, operating as Heart-To-Heart Care LLC, will take in people at their home in Washoe Valley, according to the license application.

In 2006, Norma Childers pleaded no contest to a charge of disorderly conduct after she was jailed and charged with abuse for allegedly placing tape over the mouths of children in her care at the Sugar 'N' Spice Daycare. She was bound over on the charges after a preliminary hearing, but the case was settled before trial.

As part of the plea agreement filed in December 2006, she was required to undergo an anger management evaluation, avoid complaints of disorderly conduct and violence, and serve 100 hours of community service. A "miscellaneous condition" placed upon her was "Do not work in a daycare," according to the court record. The results of the anger management evaluation were not made public.

In 2000, Norma and Mike Childers were acquitted by a jury on felony abuse and neglect charges at Nevada Cares, a nursing home they owned in Carson City.

That same year, they signed a stipulation with the state of California that ended a jury trial in which they were charged with neglecting elderly patients in their care.

The couple and their adult son signed the California stipulation which stated, among some 75 allegations, that they failed to provide adequate care to their clients, employed under-skilled staff and failed to report injuries and violations of personal rights of clients. The Childerses agreed not to operate a care facility in California for 10 years.

Norma Childers declined to comment Tuesday, as did accountant Randy Kuckenmeister, who wrote a letter to Judge Todd Russell stating he and the children of an 86-year-old Carson City woman over whom he was appointed special master agreed to have Norma Childers care for their mother in the mother's home.

The plan, according to a letter filed in that case on May 2 by Kuckenmeister, was for Childers to secure "appropriate licensing" from the state under which she could bring two other "long term care beds" into the woman's home. In exchange for that, the woman's trust would pay only the utilities and insurance on the home and for the woman's groceries, saving the estate more than $12,000 a month, according to Kuckenmeister. The status of that arrangement was not immediately clear.

Mike Childers said Tuesday that he and his wife do not plan on having any problems in their new care endeavor.

"Just because somebody makes an allegation, you don't stop. We love to do this. My wife has always taken care of people," he said.

He said the charges from the Carson City day-care case arose from a disgruntled employee and a family.

And he noted they were acquitted of any wrongdoing in the 2000 Nevada case. He said they signed the stipulation on the California case only because they were concentrating on fighting the Nevada charges.

"We gave up our license in California and sold our businesses," he said.

Mike Childers said that he and his wife disclose their past to prospective clients and that they have scores of people who support them.

"I can give you references of people that swear by the care that we did from families from the governor's mother on down," he said. "We did it for 25 years. We have one allegation against us that we won here. We're just not going to walk away from it. It's a passion that we love to do, and we are going to continue to do it."a


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