State health officials have fined five nursing homes at least $1,500 each in connection with residents who were abused or injured and one who died in July after being outside in sweltering heat for hours. On Aug. 10, Gardner Heights Health Care Center in Shelton was fined $3,000 in connection with a resident who died after being outside in a garden for more than three hours on July 27 in 95-degree weather, according to the state Department of Public Health (DPH) citation. The resident, who frequently sat in the garden, was in good condition at 2:30 p.m. that day but at 5 p.m., was found to be unresponsive and died about 40 minutes later, the citation said. A review of video at the home could not substantiate that the resident had been checked by staff between 2:30 and 5 p.m., the citation said.
Five nursing homes have been fined by the state for various violations that resulted in injuries to residents. The state Department of Public Health (DPH) fined Masonicare Health Center in Wallingford $1,300 after a resident fell, breaking a shinbone. In March, the resident who suffers from congestive heart failure and dementia, and requires two-person assistance when using the bathroom, fell when only one nursing assistant moved the client, according to DPH. The nursing assistant said she helped the resident without additional assistance because the resident already was trying to get up, the citation states. “Our residents’ safety is really, first and foremost, our priority,” said Melinda Schoen, Masonicare’s vice president for administration.
Three nursing homes face fines for lapses in care related to residents who were injured or whose wounds were not properly treated. In one case, the state Department of Public Health (DPH) cited Candlewood Valley Health & Rehabilitation Center in New Milford for failing to provide adequate care to a resident who refused medications and wound treatment for so long that her leg wound was found to be “infested with maggots,” a state inspection report says. After the resident, who was diagnosed with dementia and depressive disorder, developed leg sores, she refused nursing care and medications, telling staff “I just want to die” and acting out aggressively. According to the DPH report, a psychiatric evaluation last August recommended that the resident be transferred to an inpatient psychiatric facility. But an attending physician at Candlewood refused to sign an emergency certificate approving a psychiatric admission, saying the resident was not in imminent danger and would be harmed by being sedated and restrained, the report says.