GUILDERLAND A host of problems in recent years has landed the Guilderland Center Nursing Home on a list of the nation’s worst.
With 52 citations from the Department of Health, and after staffers protested in June for instances of mistreatment, the culmination of these problems has garnered the attention of elder-care advocates.
The average nursing home in New York is cited for 24 deficiencies. Guilderland Center Nursing Home, located on Route 146, was cited for more than twice that.
“This is very troubling,” said Richard Mollot, executive director of the Long Term Care Community Coalition, a New York-based watchdog group.
Most troubling, said Mollot, was a Boston Globe analysis, released last week, which found 40 percent of patients were prescribed antipsychotic medication even though the residents didn’t have a related mental health diagnosis.
All calls to the Guilderland Center Nursing Home’s director were un-returned.
According to the state Department of Health, the 127-bed nursing home was 96 percent full as of March.
The nursing home has been plagued by numerous problems in recent years, which have now fallen upon the Guilderland Center Nursing Home’s latest owners, Grand Healthcare System, who took over as recently as November.
Fines for violating Department of Health codes have cost the nursing home $10,000 in years past, in addition to costs incurred for the mandated repairs and updates.
Inspectors visiting the facility in 2012 and 2014 witnessed instances where a woman fell out of bed three times without employees taking time to prevent it and broken call bells, which led to a resident soiling himself while waiting for someone to lift him to the toilet.
An issue of sexual abuse was reported in 2010 after a certified nursing assistant working at the home, Leonard Clark, was found to have grabbed the breast of a 95 year-old resident, leaving a bruise. Though Clark initially denied the claim, he later admitted to the crime and was censured by the Office of the Medicaid Inspector General in January.
“Clearly you have staffing problems here,” continued Mollot.
In June, Guilderland Center nurses picketed outside the facility in protest for instances where state- and contract- required health and disability benefits were not provided.
While the administator at the time, Stephen Sporn, claimed the allegations from the 90 employees were false, nurses, nursing assistance and other workers said visits to their doctors ended in their being told their health care was not enough to cover costs of the visit, despite the fact that health care costs were taken out of their checks every month.
“I couldn’t afford the out-of-pocket expense and I walked away without receiving the care I needed,” said Erin Lupumpala, an LPN at Guilderland Center. “I’m not alone in this