State Raps Litchfield Rest Home for Multiple Lapses, Ousts Management

A Litchfield residential care home has been ordered to hire a new manager, improve resident care and pay a $2,000 fine, after findings that administrators left residents hungry, denied them information about their personal finances, and openly referred to them as “monkeys.”

Multiple residents of Fernwood Rest Home, Inc., a 68-bed facility, told inspectors from the state Department of Public Health (DPH) that administrators would tell them they had to “go shopping to feed the monkeys,” a state DPH report says. A staff member of the home confirmed complaints from residents that administrators would put a chain across the dining room while the staff was making a “gourmet breakfast for themselves,” and would instruct staff members to “keep the monkeys out” of the room while they were eating. At the same time, the facility, with a significant population of mentally ill residents, skimped on meals for residents, offering them eggs for breakfast only two days a week, with hot and cold cereal provided on other weekdays and donuts on Sundays, the report says. Residents told inspectors that the only snacks provided were granola bars, “with some residents indicating that they are still hungry and are told they cannot have any other snacks until the next day.”

The home was cited for eight violations, including failing to treat residents with dignity and respect; failing to give them quarterly statements or receipts pertaining to their personal financial accounts; and failing to provide “routine recreational activities” for them. In addition, no resident council was in place to allow residents to discuss their living conditions or push for improvements, the report says.