Foster-care patient frightened, confused by sudden move

Eighty-year old Audrey Hardy Jr., was still shaken Monday, days after being whisked from his home by state health officials who were concerned about his safety.

Hardy, who can't hear and has cerebral palsy, "was so scared that he thought they were taking him to jail," said his 67-year-old sister, Linda Allen of Shady Cove.

Hardy, who didn't understand why he was being moved, was one of five residents health officials removed from an adult foster care home in Eagle Point at 2433 Ball Road. The home was shut down by state health officials after allegations that caregiver Harry Schneider struck a mentally disabled man in the face.

Schneider has denied the allegation. He said the disabled man fell during a seizure and suffered a black eye.

Health officials arrived at the Ball Road home at 8 p.m. Thursday after the home's license was suspended. License suspension requires immediate action to relocate residents, but Hardy didn't get situated in his new home in Medford until midnight, his sister said.

Another foster home at 10740 Agate Road, which is run by Schneider's wife, Kelly, may continue to operate while an investigation continues, as long as Harry Schneider doesn't enter the premises. The investigation is being conducted by the Office of Licensing and Quality of Care, a division of the Oregon Department of Health and Human Services.

The mentally disabled man was a resident of the Agate Road home, and his seizure took place last Monday while Harry Schneider visited there. Kelly Schneider owns both foster homes.

Allen said she never received a call from state officials that her brother's foster care home was being shut down.

"That really upset me the way it was handled," she said. She learned about the situation from Schneider, who called her last Thursday.

Allen she said she understands the need to take action when an allegation is made, but thought state health officials should have sent someone to the home to take care of the residents for the night. She said they could have been moved the next day, which would have been less disruptive.

"It was so traumatic the way it was done," she said.

Allen said it takes her brother some time to get used to reading someone's lips, so he has a difficult time adjusting to new situations. She said her brother was well cared for during his six-month stay at the Schneiders' foster home, and she thought Harry Schneider performed his duties well as resident manager.

Allen said her brother never complained of mistreatment. She said she occasionally saw the man who has the seizures, but she never saw any cuts or bruises on him.

"There was no evidence of abuse," she said.

Mary Gear, administrator for the Office of Licensing and Quality of Care, said she couldn't discuss the allegations against Schneider, but sympathized with how upsetting the move was for Allen and her brother.

"I can certainly appreciate (Allen's) perspective," she said.

Gear said her office is limited in its response. When a home loses its license, she said, occupants "have to be taken out immediately."

She said when her office receives an allegation, it writes up a suspension order that must be approved by the Oregon Department of Justice and then served on the provider. The entire process can occur over a single day.

"We move as fast as we can, but sometimes we're working until 8 at night," she said.

She said her department is always balancing allegations it receives against the trauma residents endure when they're removed from one home and relocated to another.

Harry Schneider said he couldn't discuss the allegations on advice from his attorney.

"I've never been through anything like this," he said. "I don't know how it works."

He has said previously that the resident first told doctors he got a black eye when he fell, but later changed his story. He told the Mail Tribune last week that he and his wife were trying to help the resident during a "drop" seizure, which causes sudden loss of muscle strength.

Allen said she doubted whether she would move her brother back to the Schneiders' nursing home even if Harry Schneider is cleared of all the allegations against him because her brother's health problems make it difficult for him to adjust to new quarters.

"If it turns out to not be true, (the Schneiders) have lost everything," she said. "It's an unfortunate situation for all involved."

Reach reporter Damian Mann at 776-4476 or

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