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Outrage grows over conditions inside Sodus nursing home

September 19, 2018 06:14 PM

The outrage over the conditions inside a local nursing home is growing. 

On Tuesday, News10NBC revealed recent pictures and video from inside Sodus Rehabilitation and Nursing Center that show stained bed sheets, mold-covered drawers, dirty floors and furniture and overgrown toenails. 

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Since then, we've heard from dozens of other families with their own stories about the care their loved ones received inside.  

News10NBC Investigative Reporter Jennifer Lewke also spoke with six former and current employees who say they're doing the best they can in a bad situation. 

They all had similar stories of staffing shortages.They say there is just not enough people working there to keep up with the demand of people who live there.  

State records show that over the last four years, Sodus Rehabilitation and Nursing Center had three times the number of health and safety violations compared to the statewide average. 

NYS regulators give it an overall rating of two out of five stars.

Federal regulators give it an overall rating of "well below average," which has many people wondering, why don't people get their loved ones out? 

"The waiting list is very high, and there has to be an open bed and she has to be accepted, so it's not something that you can just do overnight," says Lekeisha Denman-Duvall, whose mother is a patient. 

More than 70% of people in New York State nursing homes are on Medicaid and the reimbursements aren't nearly as high as private-pay patients, so at the moment, there's nowhere else many of them can go. That's why Denman-Duvall and other families want state regulators to step up and do more to hold the facility accountable.  

In a new statement issued late Wednesday afternoon, NYS Department of Health Spokesman Jeffrey Hammond says, "The New York State Department of Health takes the health and safety of all nursing home residents very seriously. The department initiates an investigation whenever a complaint is received that alleges a violation of state or federal regulations. Over the past year, the department has responded to complaints at Sodus Rehabilitation and conducted onsite investigations where appropriate. When we have substantiated deficiencies, we have required the facility to take corrective actions. The department will continue to hold providers who violate regulations accountable for their actions or lack thereof."  

Hammond would not say how many complaints have been filed since May of 2018, the nature of the complaints or the actions that have been taken.  

What about the staffing issues that employees raise? 

They tell News10NBC, at times, there is only one certified nursing assistant to every 30-40 patients. 

Federal law says there has to be one registered nurse on-site for at least eight hours a day and one licensed practical nurse on duty 24/7, but other than that, there are no staffing regulations that need to be met.  

News10NBC Investigative Reporter Jennifer Lewke is still trying to get in touch with management at Sodus Rehabilitation and Nursing Center. Over the past two weeks, her numerous calls and emails have gone unreturned. 

News10NBC has also been calling, emailing and reaching out on social media to the CEO of the LLC that owns the facility. So far, he hasn't returned our messages either.   

To review the specific inspection data on Sodus Rehab and Nursing Center, click here.

To check inspection/citation records of any nursing home in New York State, click here.

To file a complaint against a nursing home call: 1-888-201-4563 or click here for their website.

Credits

Jennifer Lewke

Copyright 2019 - WHEC-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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