A building functioning illegally as a commercial hospice for the elderly was discovered by law enforcement officers in Russia's central Vladimir region, who found that staff had been mistreating the elderly inmates, the regional branch of the Investigative Committee said Tuesday.
According to the investigators' statement, the institution, though not licensed to do so, accommodated 19 elderly patients and failed to provide them with sufficient medical care or even food. A month's stay in the hospice cost 22,000 rubles ($350), the Vesti.ru news website reported Tuesday.
Most of the patients were Moscow and Moscow region stroke victims with an average age of 86, Vesti reported. Investigators said that the illegal hospice had been functioning since February.
The institution was discovered last Friday by police officers who went there after receiving information that one of the patients had died, Russian media reported. Upon arrival they found a dead woman and 18 other residents who were too weak to even introduce themselves, Vesti.ru reported. All of them were taken to hospitals, the report said, and an investigation was launched by the Investigative Committee.
A similar illegal institution was shut down in the Urals city of Yekaterinburg in March this year, Slon news website reported, after functioning for two years, during which about 60 of its residents died.