The complaints keep piling up against a local nursing home already at the center of an investigation being held by Messenger Post's news partner, News10NBC.
During the sweltering heat last week, one of the air conditioning systems at Sodus Rehabilitation and Nursing Center failed. It left some residents in distress and now their family members are even more concerned about safety.
The situation with the heat got so bad for at least one family, they contacted the Wayne County Sheriff’s Department to file a police report.
Sheriff Barry Virts tells News10NBC a deputy took a report and contacted the NYS Health Department.
Joseph Foss’s wife has MS and cancer. After coming down with pneumonia in June, she was sent to Sodus Rehabilitation and Nursing Center, “I thought it'd be good for her, that they'd take care of her and she'd get comfort care... that's what I thought,” he tells News10NBC but things have not been very comfortable.
The weekend before the 4th of July, when temperatures were in the high 90’s, the air conditioner in one of the wings of the building wasn’t functioning properly.
“It was stifling in there, all the nurses were complaining and everybody was complaining, it was terrible in there,” Foss recalls. He went out and bought two fans, one for his wife and one for her roommate and says the air wasn’t fully functioning until a few days later.
Foss has other complaints about his wife’s time at Sodus Rehabilitation and Nursing Center too, ranging from how infrequently she’s being attended to and the quality of the food she’s being served.
“She's lost 30-40 pounds since she's been here,” he claims.
News10NBC dug into NYS inspection records and found that over the last four years, Sodus Rehabilitation and Nursing Center has been cited 68 times for standard health violations, compared to the statewide average of 20.
It has also faced 22 life safety violations compared to an average of 13.
In total, the center has three-times the total number of citations compared to other centers in New York State.
Some of the issues specifically cited in the NYS Department of Health’s most recent inspection include a failure to investigate the cause of resident injuries, failure to provide necessary care to maintain residents hygiene, improperly storing, preparing and distributing food and failing to ensure residents maintain acceptable nutrition and hydration levels.
The results are not surprising to Dave Tuper.
In an exclusive News10NBC report back in November, he told News10NBC that when he arrived to visit his father at Sodus Rehabilitation and Nursing Center, which was called Blossom View at the time, he found him dead in his bed.
“I went in one morning I opened his door and as soon as I opened his door I knew he was no longer with us,” he recalled. On Tuesday he said an investigation by NYSDOH revealed his father had been dead for a least three hours.
Tuper is planning to file a civil suit.
When News10NBC Investigative Reporter Jennifer Lewke called Sodus Rehabilitation and Nursing Center on Tuesday she spoke with the new interim administrator who specializes in nursing home quality and was brought in a few months ago to bring the center into compliance until a new permanent administrator takes over.
The interim administrator says as soon as she realized there was an issue with the air conditioning, she called a repair company.
She believes no resident rooms got above 75 degrees. As a result of the situation, she says her staff is now doing spot temperature checks in at least three rooms once per day.
In response to all of the other violations the center was cited for during its last inspection, she says they’ve since been corrected and they’ve already been able to raise their clinical care ratings.
Like most nursing homes, they are struggling to find qualified employees but she maintains they are meeting safe-staffing numbers.
“There's a lot of good people there doing the best they can. I see that but I don't know about the administration, something is not right here…I'm just trying to protect my wife and do the best I can," Foss says. "I want her in my house. I'll take care of her, I know I've got a big job ahead and it's not going to be easy or fund but I'd much rather do it."
Click here to review Sodus Rehabilitation and Nursing Center’s Inspection records.
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