Five nursing homes have been fined at least $1,000 each by the state Department of Public Health in connection with lapses in care, residents who fell and broke bones and two residents who died. On Dec. 2, Water’s Edge Center of Health & Rehabilitation in Middletown was fined $1,160 in connection with a resident who died within days of falling out of bed at the home on Nov. 16. Though a care plan called for two staffers to turn the resident in bed, only one nurse’s aide was turning the resident when the fall occurred, DPH’s citation said.
The Westside Care Center in Manchester is ranked among the best nursing homes in Connecticut, receiving a ‘five-star’ rating for overall quality under a federal rating system. At the same time, Westside has the state’s highest percentage of residents who receive antipsychotic drugs, even though they do not have a psychosis or related condition that regulators say warrants their use. Federal data shows 68 percent of Westside long-stay residents were receiving the drugs – more than double the state’s average of 26 percent, which already ranks in the top-third of states nationally. A C-HIT review of federal nursing home data from December found that Westside is not alone: High antipsychotic use, considered dangerous and unnecessary in many cases, does not impact quality ratings of nursing homes, and is often unknown to consumers selecting a home. In three-dozen Connecticut homes, at least a third of long-stay residents are on antipsychotics – yet nearly half of those homes have excellent overall ratings, of 4 to 5 stars.