The Buffalo News reported on the torture and suffering of a dying resident. Marion Halstead was moved to Newfane Rehabilitation and Health Care Center for hospice because of her deteriorating condition. After just a few days there, Halstead told relatives she was abused by staff, she soiled herself because she could not get help to go the bathroom and and other patients tormented her.
“I hate it here,” Marion Halstead cried out from her wheelchair in the tiny room several days before she died. “This place is torture. You’re not a person here. You’re a thing. You can call out ‘nurse’ a hundred times and no one comes.”
That lack of empathy and compassion was something she should not have experienced in her final days.
“I call out ‘I want to go potty,’ ” said Halstead, whose stage 4 colorectal cancer made it impossible for her to use her shared bathroom unassisted. More than once, she said she soiled herself.
“I feel as though I placed my mother in the gateway to hell,” Kline said. “This is no place for a dying person. Is this the last place she’ll see?”
New York State Department of Health records show that the Newfane facility received 52 complaints against it from 2013 to 2016. Earlier this year, the Medicaid website posted findings from a March inspection of the facility that cited dirty toilet areas, urine odors and dead bugs.
“…the facility did not provide housekeeping and maintenance services necessary to maintain a sanitary, orderly, and comfortable interior.
“Three of four resident care units had issues with damaged walls, stained ceiling tiles, damaged or stained floors, dead bugs in light fixtures, strong urine odor in a resident’s bathroom…stained toilets/toilet seats,” the report, in part, stated.
“I saw a woman patient eating discarded food from other patients in a cart in a hallway. When I told an aide, the aide looked and told one of the nurses on the floor and the nurse shrugged her shoulders and said, ‘Oh well, it’s done now.’ She didn’t care. It was gross and I almost threw up,” Kline said.
“The guy in the room next to Aunt Marion smelled so bad of urine, it made your stomach retch. He would sit in the hallway and scream obscene profanities, really dirty stuff my aunt did not need to hear.
“The woman in the room on the other side would wander into my aunt’s room and lie down on her bed or touch stuff or sit and stare at you. She was nice but it was off-putting to my aunt,” said Heather Torriere.
But the worst of it was when Halstead told family members an aide struck her in the face either late on the night of July 1 or in the early morning hours of July 2.
“She was actually hit by an aide. She was traumatized by that. When we got her to Hospice House, we had to assure her the aide was not there, ” Torriere said.
“The aide said, ‘She kicked me in the back of the head and scratched me.’ My aunt started yelling, ‘I’m not strong enough to lift my legs and I have no nails or strength to scratch.’ My aunt told the aide ‘hold your arms out’ and there were no marks at all,” Nordin said.