13WMAZ reported that the Jeffersonville Nursing and Rehab Center which is owned and operated by New Beginnings Care is closing on March 6th after an alarming health inspection on January 13th. The health inspection discovered neglect and unsafe conditions including overflowing toilets and the smell of feces. Just two weeks later, the nursing home’s Medicaid and Medicare funding was taken away forcing them to close their doors. The nursing homes parent company, New Beginnings Care, has also filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
WMAZ talked to a former employee hired as a sitter, but she says the conditions were so bad for the patients that she quit after a few weeks. The former employee says she was hired by a temp agency to start working at the nursing home on January 8th and by January 14th, a day after the inspection, she quit. She says the home never asked her for a background check and had her apply for the position on her first day on the job. She even wrote a letter to the state board warning them of the health deficiencies at the center.
“No background checks. No fingerprints. No drug test. Just be there. So nothing was basically by the rules at all.”
She says one of the conditions at the nursing home that made the frail patients even more sick were the cold temperatures in the rooms.
“She had went and pulled her chair to the hallway. She said she was trying to keep warm through the sunbeam that was coming through the window. So I knew then it was really cold. I’m like why won’t they fix the heat?”
The court documents on this case also describe an odor complaint of feces that may have from the overflowing toilet. The former employee says the staff would only change the patients once at the start of every shift, every eight hours.
“The patients would walk around with feces coming out of the bottom of their pants…on their shoe. They’d track it up the hallway. It takes them a minute before they do decide to come clean it up. They only change them like the first of each shift.”
She says the patients never ate their meals on a set schedule and that the food would sit out on the carts for at least a 30 minutes before it would be served to the residents. She says she asked one of the residents about the food once.
“You know, is the food good? She was like ‘it’s okay, you know I have no choice or whatever.’ I’m like well is it cold? She was like honey I can’t remember the last time I had a hot meal.”
The federal agency rates homes from one star to five in four categories: health inspections, staffing, quality measures and overall. They gave Jeffersonville Healthcare & Rehab just one star in each category. They say a one-star rating means much below average. You can look up the ratings on some of these local nursing homes at Medicare’s website.