Three nursing homes have been fined by the state Department of Public Health (DPH) for violations that include posting a video on social media of a resident in a wheelchair asking for a cheese sandwich.
Montowese Health and Rehabilitation Center in North Haven was fined $1,320 after a nurse aide posted the video of the resident on Snapchat, DPH said.
On Aug. 29, 2019, a family member of the resident called the facility to complain about the video. In the video, the resident was seated in a wheelchair, wearing a white helmet and repeatedly asking for a grilled cheese sandwich. The video had been edited with the caption “All I want is a grilled cheese sandwich,” according to DPH.
When an administrator questioned the nurse aide about the video, the aide originally denied making and posting it, but later admitted to doing it. The aide had just attended training a day earlier in which staff were reminded that cell phone use is prohibited in resident care areas, the DPH citation said.
The aide no longer works at the facility and staff notified DPH and local police of the incident, according to facility spokesman Tim Brown.
The center “has a zero-tolerance policy for any type of abuse or neglect of its patients and residents,” Brown said. “The center maintains and expects its employees to follow multiple policies prohibiting the filming or photographing of its residents and patients.
“Since this incident occurred, the center has conducted multiple in-services with staff to re-educate them on existing policies, including the restriction of personal cell phone use in resident areas and to adhere to residents’ rights by not posting resident information to social media,” Brown said.
Water’s Edge Center for Health and Rehabilitation in Middletown was fined $6,960 after a quadriplegic resident fell out of bed and was injured while receiving care from a nurse aide.
On June 6, 2019, the resident, who was supposed to have the help of two staff members for bed mobility, fell off a bed onto the floor and suffered a broken femur when one nurse aide was changing a bed sheet, according to DPH.
Following the incident, staff were supervised as needed when assisting residents who need help with daily tasks and mobility, according to the citation.
Officials at Water’s Edge Center declined to comment.
Chelsea Place Care Center in Hartford was fined $1,500 after a resident with a history of alcohol and opioid dependence, as well as suicidal tendencies, was found dead several days after being discharged from the facility.
The resident was admitted to the facility for short-term rehabilitation on April 22, 2016, following a hospitalization for treatment of suicidal ideation and found to be “medically unstable,” the citation said. When the resident was discharged May 31, 2016, a transitional coordinator tasked with connecting the resident with post-discharge services wasn’t made aware of the discharge and had not finished ensuring mental health services were in place for the resident, DPH said.
According to the citation, the discharge plan didn’t ensure follow-up appointments were scheduled at a behavioral health facility, even though the resident had attempted suicide as recently as March 16, 2016.
After a home care agency was unable to contact the resident or make home visits after various attempts, the resident was found deceased on June 3, 2016. The cause of death was ruled as acute heroin toxicity associated with alcohol use, the citation said.
Though the incident happened in 2016, details were recently released in an “amended citation,” because Chelsea Place disputed the findings in the original citation, according to DPH.
“The health, safety and well-being of our resident community remain Chelsea Place Care Center’s utmost priority. This includes working to connect residents with adequate and necessary healthcare services after their discharge into the community whenever possible,” said spokesman David Skoczulek.
“In this particular case, we feel strongly that we fulfilled this duty. We respectfully disagree with DPH’s conclusion that a nursing home is legally responsible for the unforeseen actions of an individual after being safely and voluntarily discharged from the nursing home, which in this case included the collaboration and coordination through resources managed by the state of Connecticut through its Money Follows the Person program.”