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Maryland Woman Faces 176 Years in Prison After Running Illegal Assisted-Living Facility

Helping an old man
A Maryland woman was found guilty of an array of charges after running an illegal assisted-living facility where the elderly and disabled residents suffered abuse.

The Washington Post reports that 33-year-old Zainab Kamara would go to local shelters, rehabilitation centers, and hospitals, to find vulnerable people. She would tell people — some elderly, some disabled — that she could care for them at her assisted-living facility.

Many Americans depend on assisted-living facilities to care for their elderly relatives in later years. There are about 1.6 million Americans living in about 17,000 assisted-living facilities in the United States. Roughly 11,000 of those facilities are for-profit businesses.

Kamara would take the elderly or disabled people to her Bladensburg, MD apartment, which she was using to run the illegal assisted-living facility. According to prosecutors, the conditions of the apartment “were deplorable, including no heat, barely any food to eat and roaches all over the apartment.”

By 2050, people aged 65 years and older — and who may need to live in a facility — will make up about 20% of the overall population in the United States. Elderly abuse is actually nothing new in assisted-living facilities; the elderly suffer abuse at one in three nursing homes in the United States.

There are a few different types of elderly abuse — including physical, sexual, emotional, and financial. In some cases, the resident and the family could have legal recourse against the caregiver in the form of a personal injury case.

According to the Herald, Kamara stole credit cards and money from the people who were in her care.

She was found guilty of kidnapping, neglect, and theft, among other charges. She will be sentenced early next month and faces up to 176 years in prison.

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