Unit 3 South at James Square has 34 beds. On the day shift, it is supposed to have four aides. Today it only has two aides to toilet, serve breakfast, and do clean-up for 17 patients each. It is impossible. Most of the administrators spend most of the mornings in meetings. They should be out on the floors doing the necessary work of caring for sick people. The angry aide is told she will be fired if she leaves. She has minor children.
Helen Norine has been the administrator for about 15 years. In the annual survey in October 2015 by the NYS Dept. of Health, the Statement of Deficiencies runs to 123 pages. Norine’s last day is tomorrow. She is expecting a big farewell reception.
The Statement of Deficiencies is a chilling trip through a land of horrors:
• The patient’s legs were swelling and nobody paid attention. The patient had deep vein thromboses in both legs. Finally, the patient was transferred to a hospital for proper treatment, including the blood-thinner Coumadin. When the patient was returned to James Square, the hospital notified the nursing home of the proper dose of medication to be continued. The re-admission nurse copied down the drug order—and did not pass it on to anyone. After a few days without medication, the patient went into full arrest.
• Food Service was not keeping food at the proper temperature. When the investigator tried to interview the kitchen worker responsible for maintaining the temperature it was discovered that he was foreign-born and could not understand English.
• A patient with cerebral palsy as well as other diseases and virtually no cognitive capability was left lying alone on his bed. There were no wall decorations, no music, no visitors—no stimulation of any sort. He laid there in blank silence day after day after day with no care plan.
• A rehab patient, who planned to go home, needed to learn how to manage his colostomy by himself. In fact, he was not receiving training or assistance in how to maintain hygiene. He wasn’t even receiving daily care.
Many of the deficiencies were followed by a note that the deficiency had been observed in both 2014 and 2013.
In the name of God, how could the NYS Dept. of Health (DOH) let deficiencies linger for years? Oh, well, they weren’t severe deficiencies.
James Square management has hired an agency to respond to the DOH Statement of Deficiencies. The agency has taken over a conference room at James Square for a month.
How can a nursing home unit be left with half-staff?
The last meeting of the family council at James Square had fewer than 10% representation of the 400 patients.
We, as a society, have abandoned our elder citizens. Nobody wants us, or wants to pay to care for us.
How dare you say no to euthanasia?
Starting with Helen Norine and other nursing home administrators who run sub-standard facilities.