Families shocked by AG report on COVID deaths in nursing homes | WHEC.com

Families shocked by AG report on COVID deaths in nursing homes

Stephanie Duprey
Updated: January 29, 2021 12:26 AM
Created: January 28, 2021 06:27 PM

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — Families around the state say they are horrified by the way their loved ones were treated while in nursing homes throughout this pandemic and even before it hit. They say it’s nothing against current staff members, but because the staff to patient ratio isn't balanced, they had some disturbing experiences.

"I would find her in her own urine, in her own feces for hours, what if I hadn't come in tonight, you know I've given my mom her own shower,” Kim Brown said. 

Kim Brown says her 78 year-old-mother, Anita Holmes, has been in a nursing home for quite some time. She suffers from Alzheimer’s and is now currently on hospice. Brown says when the pandemic took a turn for the worst she constantly wondered about her mother’s care.

"I go there to make sure she's changed that she ate, that she has her little dolls she thinks are her real babies, how do we get adequate staffing," Brown added. 

On top of under-reporting nursing home deaths, the attorney general’s investigation also showed some nursing homes failed to comply with basic infection protocols that may have put residents at greater risk for catching the virus.

"She almost died last year, she was in strong for a month and still she kicks COVID’S butt but then dies from failure to thrive? I don't want that to happen,” Brown said. 

Gelsey Randazzo Markese tells News10NBC that her grandmother, Rose Randazzo died in December of last year, not from COVID, but because she stopped eating and drinking. Gelsey says she doesn't understand how nursing homes have reached this point.

"I hate how I have to wonder how many times my grandmothers' room was walked by with her food just sitting out, was anyone helping her to eat or encouraging her to eat,” Markese said.

Markese says understaffed homes took a toll on her family. She shared a photo with us that shows her grandfather giving her grandmother water. She says the photo is worth a thousand words. 

"I think it’s important because that photo is the reason why we need essential caregivers because if my grandfather wasn't by her side there wouldn't have been anyone there to just keep her comfortable,” Markese said.

Both Markese and Brown tell me that they hope Gov. Andrew Cuomo does respond to these new findings, so it can generate long term change. We've reached out to the governor's office, for a comment and are waiting to hear back.

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