Former board member no longer trusts Riverview Retirement to care for own mother

SPOKANE, Wash. — The CEO of a Spokane assisted living center has been fired — but some residents and families say they couldn’t be more relieved.

Former board member Pamela Indahl spoke exclusively with 4 News Now’s Kyle Simchuk, telling us she pulled her elderly mom out of Riverview a few months ago.

Indahl says her 98-year-old mother was isolated in her room, not getting the care she signed up for. Their family is also relieved that the now former CEO was fired on Monday.

“[She] never asked for anything, tried to do everything herself, even though she wasn’t really able to,” said Indahl.

It was Mother’s Day weekend when Indahl noticed something wrong with her mother.

“She was mostly lying in bed, which is alarming because at her age, at age 98,” Indahl explained. “There’s a hopelessness that goes with that isolation, and because of her dementia she didn’t understand why I wasn’t coming anymore.”

Forced to isolate in her room at Riverview, Indahl says her mom was growing hopeless—so the next weekend, she stood outside her window for eight hours, taking notes.

“Essentially they were not doing anything, not going into her room, were not helping at all with her care,” said Indahl. “She was going two days without a change of clothes which meant, you know, no change of anything; she wasn’t being cleaned, her food was delivered in a styrofoam box.”

Indahl served as a board member of Riverview for 12 years. Last May, she decided to pull her mom out and take care of her at home.

“Right now her world is here, her world is where she is at the moment,” said Indahl.

Indahl says Riverview’s reputation has suffered under the leadership of CEO Charlie Tirrell.

“The staff turnover was so rapid that nobody ever got to know anybody,” said Indahl.

She says her mom’s extensive care plan had not been followed for three years, and that Riverview CEO Charlie Tirrell ignored her concerns. He was fired this Monday.

“It was just a relief,” she said.

We reached out to interim CEO Mike Drew about Tirrell’s termination and Indahl’s claims about her mother’s care. He wouldn’t comment on either issue.

It’s not the first time we’ve heard complaints from people who trusted Riverview to care for their loved ones.

In March, one disabled vet was taken to hospital for a nose bleed. His daughter said Tirrell wouldn’t let him back into the building for two weeks, even though residents were isolated in their own rooms.

RELATED: Retirement home turns away elderly man over hospital visit, citing COVID-19 concerns

In June, Tirrell made the decision to close Riverview’s skilled nursing unit. It came as a shock to many couples who bought homes in the village, knowing they would need the extra help some day. They have hired a lawyer.

RELATED: Couples living at Riverview Retirement Community fighting to keep portion of it open

4 News Now was unable to reached Charlie Tirrell for a comment—he refused to talk with us during the previous two stories we reported earlier this year.