After the backup generator flooded and power died, residents of the Promenade nursing home in the Rockaway Park neighborhood of Queens found themselves in the dark, with little food and no heat. As a result, the New York State Health Department has begun an investigation into the apparent negligence of the nursing home.
The day after the storm, as temperatures dropped, the nursing home evacuated 200 patients and placed them in emergency shelters across the city. In many instances, no staff members accompanied them. In other cases, there were no medical records detailing the treatment that patients were supposed to receive.
Worst of all, a number of families have been unable to locate their loved ones. Promenade has been no help. No one knows how many patients remain missing. And some say that the behavior of nursing home management is more than negligent – it’s criminal.
The administrator of the home left the city on October 28. The director of nursing left the next day. Among the failures of the facility: Lack of extra staff to prepare for the storm, as required by state licensing; no stocking of additional medicines and flashlights; no preparation of patient records and other required pre-evacuation procedures.
Promenade’s actions during last year’s hurricane were similar. The nursing home sent patients to alternate facilities without staff and without medical records, as it did during Sandy. However, the state declined to investigate.
Read more about what happened to Promendade patients during the hurricane in the next post.
Source:New York Times, “Nursing Home Is Faulted Over Care After Storm,” Nov. 10, 2012.