Here’s Another Old Age Fear: Corrupt Nursing Homes

 

sick elderly patient
96 year old nursing home resident who just recently died while under their care

This article (click here) about local, unsafe nursing homes was just released this morning. It’s enough for us Baby Boomers, or those nearing or facing retirement to shake in our boots. The estate of the woman pictured above, Adeline Ramlow, has sued the Goshen Nursing Home for deplorable and dangerous living conditions, which led to her death. A class action lawsuit by the remainder of the residents there is under way.

What started out as a well run Nursing Care Facility, Sapphire/Elant Homes, turned into a nightmare when it was bought out by a group of New York City greedy, profit-making monsters investors.

Help us,” at least five residents asked the family of the fragile 96-year-old Ramlow, as they sat in a common area of the Sapphire Nursing home, according to a lawsuit filed in state Supreme Court in Orange County on Tuesday by a Westchester law firm.

The estate of Ramlow, who died late last year, and Mary Rice, 93, a current Sapphire resident, are both suing, accusing the home’s new owners of slashing staff so deeply that Ramlow and others often sat in their own waste, begging visitors for bathroom help, meals and care.

This new investor group, Richard Aryeh Platschek, Esther Farkovits, Machla Abramczyk and Robert Schuck — also acquired Elant homes in Newburgh, Wappingers Falls and Beacon. That’s three more nursing homes who shortchanged unsuspecting life residents to suffer an early death, all in the name of making profits!

Again, this is yet another fear of mine, which unfortunately is all too common, as we age: corrupt and unscrupulous nursing homes. Once they latch on to your Medicare benefits, they never let you (their meal ticket) go! After reading this article, I’m back to square one. Yesterday (click here) I was contemplating moving into an independent type of apartment living as I got older, but now in retrospect, I think I’ll stay put in my own home. My dad did that and he lived till he was 92. For the last few years of his life, my sister hired a home-care, live-in to care for my father and it worked out very well. My sister was there to over see everything and my father did indeed get excellent care.

What Sapphire has done is try to profit by dramatically cutting staff, which has resulted in an unsafe nursing home. Layoffs and other budget cuts led Sapphire’s Goshen staff to not properly bathe residents; serve meals late and cold; fail to help residents eat and leave residents soiled, un-cared for and unattended for hours.

Sapphire’s mid-Hudson nursing homes are among at least 19 state nursing homes that share common ownership, according to DOH filings. Medicare has designated 13 as severely short-staffed, including the former Elant homes in Beacon, Goshen, Newburgh and Wappingers Falls.

A report cited short-staffing; residents left with unclean diapers and a lack of water and food for hours; scarce supplies; crumbling rooms and patients hurt from a lack of care and staff decisions, including a nurse spreading hepatitis by reusing a needle.

No thanks! I’m re-evaluating my living choices for my old age. I’m staying put and I’ll hire a certified nurse or assistant to help me and DH when we get older. I’ll have one of my daughters or close (young) relative oversee the employment and our finances.If need be, I’ll get ‘meals-on-wheels’ and I’ll join a retirement club here in my neighborhood where other like-minded retirees get together and socialize.

In the interim, I called our landscaper and asked him when he was coming over to cut our grass! The cutting is one week overdue! He’ll be here tomorrow. And by September, our automatic generator will be installed! Thank God I have a safe home to live in!

As always, my dad had it right all along.

PS: Note to self….be extra nice to your daughters, son-in-laws, grandchildren, nieces and nephews. And neighbors!

 

 

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8 comments

  1. Yes, I share in this fear also and plan on home care or hospice at home. BTW how did your appointment go at the gastroenterologist? Did he have the answer to your coughing?

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    • Hi Lara. The doc said that if it is gerd that is causing my cough, it will take 2 to 3 months to cure. It’s a slow process. UGH! In the interim, we scheduled an endoscopy for next week. Truthfully, I doubt my acid reflex is causing my cough. I have discontinued seeing all the doctors I have currently seen and have scheduled a new round of doctors, much closer to my home area. I’m going to go through the round yet once again because I don’t trust the docs I have already seen. I’m seeing a new pulmonologist, a new thyroid doc, a new allergist, ear nose & throat etc. etc. I find it impossible to believe that these last three months I’ve been seeing these original doctors none of them came up with a solution.
      It’s a very simple thing I’m going through: for some strange reason, I get a tickle in my throat, I start coughing, I then start coughing up mucus which fill my throat and my nose. I blow my nose. I cough up ‘whatever’ (it’s clear) and then I’m fine. Bizarre and strange.
      I’ll keep you posted.

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  2. I really hope the need is twenty years from now like my parents in their late eighties. I don’t have long term care insurance and can’t qualify for it now so I maintain my life insurance, thinking about establishing a home equity line of credit on my paid off home, made the decision to get the more expensive Plan F Medicare with AARP United Healthcare, and started a more aggressive investment strategy. So far the investment strategy is working, I was too complacent that Since I could afford my current lifestyle with my pension I could handle added expenses with passive income. But and this was the Big Eye opener- that kicked me awake to be more aggressive in my investments-when the tornado hit – the cost to take care of the tree damage, along with needing new brakes, a planned vacation, $10,000 more in taxes yearly from now on. Cha Ching! The only thing for sure in life is change. Lara

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    • Hi Lara. Have you seen the cost of things today? I’m going to write a post about it. I was looking at washers and dryers and what used to cost me $500 for both is now up to $1500 and that’s just the starting price. Some washer & dryer combos were $3200! That’s unbelievable.My dad had a live-in at $600 a week. I betcha that’s double now. if you can even find someone!
      I’m like you: putting more time in to investing while the getting is good. We anticipate our property taxes going up next year. Have no idea what it will be. Gulp! And the thought of moving is incomprehensible.
      Thanks, as always for your comment.

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  3. The need for assisted care (in a facility or in a home) will escalate beyond the workforce available when we all need it. Until we find a solution to that (i.e., more people having kids or kids becoming interested in caregiving) we’re all going to be down the creek without a paddle. You’re wise to plan ahead!

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    • Hi Shelley. Thankfully, you and I have daughters. I have my fingers crossed that one of them will step in and take care of us, should the need arise.
      In the interim, its an established fact that there’s a shortage in home health care workers. Hopefully, many young people today will train and choose it as a career. Again, fingers crossed!
      Tanks for your comment.

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  4. My property taxes went up $150 for the year, electric and natural gas budget went down $20 monthly (-240 yr.) and cable went down $35 which I then used to get an 8 plus IPhone zero interest deal, and 1 gigabyte plan with Xfinity that is running me less then my old pay by day usage plan. Truly enjoying the smartphone and it’s awesome camera.
    Yes, washers and dryers have gone up and I will replace them this year too, and maybe a refrigerator. All of them are 19 years old. They were all my second ones since I got married, so I can’t complain. Food prices are sneaking up but their sale prices when I stock pile seem the same. Waiting for ShopRite can can sell and will fill my larder on Senior 5% discount day, using my credit card with the 3.5% reward. Also holding some rain checks that I will do then, too.
    Yesterday, my lawn guy’s assistant finally came yesterday and I had him weed wack every where besides the lawn, and tipping him for the extra work that saved me a ton of time. I too don’t want to think of moving. Yeah! Sincerely, Lara

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    • Out town is going to do its second round of appraising property values based on real selling numbers. That may mean to me thousands in a rise in property taxes. That’s what I am afraid of. We had one in 2010 and they’re doing another re-assessment in 2019, that will see increases in 2020. Fingers crossed that we can afford the increase. UGH! Our cable went up $20 a month because DH insists on watching Fox News which we rarely do anymore! The only thing we watch on cable is countless and endless re-runs of Law & Order, which I could get for free on Hulu (@$5.99 a month). We’re in another 2 yr contract with cable so I think we’ll stay still for a while.
      We’re on our second washer in 17 years with our current one leaking. Ugh. Cheapest model I could find was $579. On sale! I can’t believe it. We just did all new kitchen appliances last season and if I had to go back and buy the same models I’m looking at least a 50% increase! WTF………
      I still haven’t finished all the stuff we bought at the last can can sale. I might just donate the remainder of it. DH and I don’t eat like we used to. Go figure!

      Like

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