According to The Buffalo News, Joy Elizabeth Catalano, former director of Nursing at Buffalo’s Ellicott Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing, resigned for “ethical and moral reasons”. According to Catalano, nearly a dozen of her staff and aides called in sick on one single night. This left Catalano under staffed, leaving only four staff members to take care of an estimated 150 residents. Catalano explains that her reasoning for coming forward with her experience, is that she read an article about a woman who lost her eye due to the lack of care she received at the nursing home following a Cataract Surgery.

Catalano explained that she was hired to solve problems like the one above, and others, but after months of inadequate supplies she finally decided it was time to leave. Catalano stated, “understaffing, a lack of supplies, including clean towels and sheets, and the failure of the facility’s out of town owners to correct those problems led to her decision to leave.”

The Buffalo News outlet has written many stories on nursing homes in which they discovered that 16 out of 47 nursing homes have been bought for profit by out of town investors. The Buffalo News notes that these home owned by “out of town investors” are some of the worst nursing homes in the region. Like many nursing homes in the country, Ellicott Center struggles to hire enough staff to properly operate and meet the needs of their residents.  Currently. The Ellicott Center is now ranked “much below average” by the federal government, which is the worst rating that can be given.

Since Catalano’s departure, the new administrator has stated that staffing has increased, and that conditions have improved. The nursing home issued a statement stating that the care of their residents is top priority, and that they have investigated and addressed the claims and concerns of former employees.

Catalano states that she has no way of knowing if conditions have improved, and she has not worked for another nursing home facility since her departure.

According to The Morning Journal, an Ohio Nursing home worker was accused of starving her mother to death. Jennifer Sweat has been charged with involuntary manslaughter and one count of failing to provide for an impaired person. Sweat told authorities that she had “always” fed her mother, seventy-seven year old, Linda Sweat, daily. She described to authorities that she typically fed her mother meals of Salisbury streak, mashed potatoes and mac and cheese. However, one officer, Sgt. Matt Loughman, described Linda Sweat’s body as being a “skeleton covered in skin.” After examination of the body, there is evidence of neglect but no evidence of trauma.

This is interesting because it brings into question her competency, training, and compassion as a nursing home caregiver. Were patients or residents at the facility in which she worked ever in danger, or experienced similar neglect?  It is important that those who work for Nursing home or Rehabilitation/Assisted living facilities be trusted, as they help families take care of their loved ones.