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Connecticut Nursing Homes Worst Offenders

Connecticut Nursing Homes Worst Offenders

The health and safety of your loved ones is your paramount concern when selecting a nursing facility. You want them to be cared for, properly fed, given the right medications, and -- above all -- kept safe from abuse. Most nursing facilities do a good job of weeding out staff who could potentially harm residents. 

Quality staff shouldn’t be your only concern. People with cognitive decline such as dementia often revert to juvenile behavior, even committing sexual assault. They may not be aware of what they’re doing is crossing boundaries. Nevertheless, the behavior has to be watched for and stopped, with offenders immediately removed from other residents and carefully monitored.

This, of course, requires staff who are trained to look for potential bad behavior and how to intervene before anyone’s health and safety have been compromised. And many nursing homes do have staff who are qualified and who do the right thing. Alas, some don’t. 

Below you’ll find some of the worst offenders we found in Connecticut, according to Medicare.gov inspection reports. Not all of them on this list have had instances of abuse, but a fair number do. We hope our list can help you know what to keep an eye out for when looking for a nursing facility.

[Trigger Warning: Contains descriptions of sexual and physical abuse and assault.]

Regalcare At Southport - Southport

Medicare.gov overall rating: N/A (too many deficiencies)

Due to a “history of persistent poor quality of care”, Regalcare At Southport has been designated as a “Special Focus Facility” by Medicare.gov. That means it isn’t even worth one-star in their overall rating system and it is “subjected to more frequent inspections, escalating penalties, and potential termination for Medicare and Medicaid.”

Over the past several years they have had many health and safety violations, including some that caused actual harm to residents. One very serious violation occurred in early 2018. A bed-bound resident with cognitive disabilities so severe that he/she couldn’t speak was sexually assaulted by another resident. The assaulter had walked into the victim’s room, which was open and unlocked, and kissed and touched the genitals of the victim. A nurse happened to notice that the underwear of the victim had been left open, which prompted the investigation and the assaulter to admit to the crimes.

Police were called and the resident was charged with a crime. An appropriate response, but too little too late. The staff should never have left such a vulnerable resident unsupervised, allowing other residents in his/her room. It’s a shocking dereliction of duty.

St Joseph's Center - Trumbull

Medicare.gov overall rating: 1 star (much below average)

St. Joseph’s Center has been cited for many different reasons, including not properly feeding residents, not keeping accurate and complete records, not properly investigating abuse allegations, and more. But there have been a few instances where residents were harmed.

In 2018 a resident with severe dementia and related physical issues fell out of her wheelchair while a staff member briefly stepped away. The resident usually required so much assistance that he/she needed a special adaptive wheelchair and the care plan called mechanical lifts and two people to move the resident. 

However, this staff member, in preparing to lift the resident into bed by herself, folded up the wheelchair’s footrests, then turned her back to the resident. The resident pitched forward and fell face-first onto the floor, resulting in a very large gash on the forehead that required an ER trip.

Montowese Health & Rehabilitation Center - North Haven

Medicare.gov overall rating: 1 star (much below average)

This rehabilitation facility has had problems with staff, including one terrible incident in September 2019, when an employee mocked a disabled resident on social media. The employee had her cell phone out in a restricted area and filmed the resident, then uploaded it to Snapchat. The resident’s family members spotted it online -- a terrible way to discover this dreadful abuse -- and had to call the nursing home to tell them what they saw.

Two years before this, a resident received serious injuries to a leg when a staff member attempted to move the resident without a required second staff member. The resident was left with a bleeding wound, which was eventually discovered by another staff member. 

The responsible staff member denied breaking the rules and causing the injury, and even tried to blame other staff members on another shift. These incidents point to a pattern of serious staffing problems at this facility.

Hewitt Health & Rehabilitation Center, Inc. - Shelton

Medicare.gov overall rating: 1 star (much below average)

Hewitt Health & Rehabilitation Center has had some issues in the past, like verbal abuse by staff and some avoidable falls and injuries. However, one event last year shines a light on a major lapse in caring for one of its residents. 

From February to March of 2019, a resident with a history of sexually inappropriate behaviors was able to sexually assault two residents and one staff member. Each time the offender was removed to a hospital for psychiatric evaluation, but upon returning to the facility, very little was done to make sure he was prevented from being alone with other residents. At one point well after the assaults, the director of nursing wasn’t even aware that the resident was alone in yet another resident’s room until inspectors told her.

It wasn’t until five months later when government inspectors forced the administration and staff to ensure the resident “must be in staff view at all times when awake, and not to be in the vicinity of residents of the opposite sex.” A bit late for the three victims.

Salmon Brook Rehab And Nursing - Glastonbury

Medicare.gov overall rating: 1 star (much below average)

Salmon Brook Rehab and Nursing seems to have a lot of the usual problems associated with poorly trained staff, including being cited for not correctly sanitizing equipment and not properly managing drugs. But one major training oversight caused some serious injuries in 2017. 

A nursing assistant was attempting to transfer a resident who required a mechanical lift from bed to wheelchair. The nursing assistant attached the sling to the resident and then called for another nursing assistant to come in. As they were lifting the resident out of bed, one of the sling loops came undone. The resident fell onto the floor, fracturing seven ribs and collapsing a lung.

Inspectors determined the nursing assistant didn’t double-check the sling, which the nursing assistant claimed wasn’t part of normal practice and didn’t know to do that. A simple bit of training, and this resident wouldn’t have sustained potentially lethal injuries.

Regalcare At Torrington - Torrington

Medicare.gov overall rating: 1 star (much below average)

A simple matter of asking if someone needs help can be the difference between a good day and a serious injury. At the Regalcare at Torrington, a resident sustained serious head injuries because a nurse didn’t bother to aid during a complicated task. The resident had cognitive issues that affected mobility, to the extent that doctors required staff to provide “supervision with ambulation and modified assistance with toileting.”

A doctor required a urine sample from the resident. The resident decided to do it himself or herself. The nurse handed the urine sample container to the resident, not bothering to offer assistance. Upon coming out of the bathroom, the resident slipped on urine and fell backwards, hitting his or her head on the floor. 

The fall caused a fractured skull and required hospitalization. Had the nurse bothered to stick to physician’s orders -- or even offer to help a person with obvious mobility issues, this terrible injury could have been avoided.

Greentree Manor Nursing & Rehab - Waterford

Medicare.gov overall rating: 1 star (much below average)

Another case of resident-on-resident sexual assault that could have been avoided by proper supervision. A resident of Greentree Manor Nursing & Rehab had a prior history of inappropriate sexual behavior and was on 15-minute check status. Despite this, the resident was able to approach another resident from behind and grab her by the breast. 

To their credit, the staff put the assaulter on 1:1 supervision -- at least until a staff psychiatrist put him back on 15-minute supervision. A month later, the same resident was sitting on a couch in a common room right outside the director of the head nurse’s office and grabbed the groin of another resident.

For this serious lapse in supervision, and many other relatively minor infractions caught by inspectors, Greentree Manor earned a single star and a spot on our list.

Harbor Village North Health And Rehabilitation Center - New London

Medicare.gov overall rating: 1 star (much below average)

Along with the usual litany of infractions, Harbor Village North was cited for two very serious errors in 2018. In one situation, a resident was found looking ill and unresponsive. The nursing assistant who found the resident was under the mistaken impression that the resident had a Do Not Resuscitate order. 

Due to that grave mistake, it was “approximately a five (5) to ten (10) minute lapse before CPR was initiated”, according to the report. The resident wound up passing away after EMTs arrived. Could CPR have saved this resident? It’s hard to say. But it’s certain that a lack of CPR for such a long period didn’t help.

In September of the same year, a nurse on staff gave life-saving diabetes medication to a resident -- the wrong resident. There were two residents in the home with the same last name, one with diabetes and one without. Counter to standard procedure, the nurse only confirmed that last name with the resident, not the first, thus delivering insulin to someone who did not need it. The results were a crash in the resident’s blood sugar, which was thankfully reversed before serious injury or death could occur.

Waterbury Gardens Nursing And Rehab - Waterbury

Medicare.gov overall rating: 1 star (much below average)

Waterbury Garden is the site of many different infractions, both mild and moderate. But one serious one involved a skin graft recipient and a nurse not following physician orders. In May of 2018, a resident was admitted to the nursing facility after skin graft surgery on their foot. A special wound vacuum had been applied to the graft site with explicit instructions from the physician that it should not be altered or removed in any way by anyone except the physician.

Soon after the wound vacuum alarm went off, meaning the seal wasn’t holding. The nurse on duty -- contrary to doctor’s orders -- attempted to repair the seal by applying a dressing to it. That fixed the alarm, but not the actual problem. The skin graft to become dislodged, which was only discovered during a regular follow-up with a doctor days later. That caused an infection on the graft site and required another graft surgery to help fix the wound. Had the nurse called a physician as instructed, the skin graft could possibly have been saved, and an unnecessary surgery avoided.

Geer Nursing and Rehabilitation - Canaan

Medicare.gov overall rating: 2 stars (below average)

Not one of the worst-rated nursing homes, but this infraction was so bad we included it in our list. Yet another severe lapse in supervision led to inappropriate sexual contact by a resident. Geer Nursing and Rehabilitation had a resident with serious dementia who had serious impulse control issues. 

This resident was able to assault not one, two, three, but four different residents in his ward -- all of whom were also severely demented and who were not able to protect themselves -- by grabbing their buttocks or breasts. Despite the continuing incidents, the nursing facility did not take adequate measures to keep the offender supervised and isolated from residents of the opposite gender.

Connecticut Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers

No matter their age or mental ability, nursing home residents are human beings with all the rights that come with that. Bed sores, abuse, falls, medication mishaps -- all of these things are easily prevented with good policies, proper training, and staff who care about following the rules. 

Yet as we can see here, for many nursing facilities, these basic requirements are hard to follow, resulting in severe injuries and even death. To learn more about what you can do about nursing home abuse and neglect, contact us. Consultations are always free, without obligation and confidential. 

Please contact online, by email [hidden email] or call us at 833.201.1555 to set up a time to talk. We or someone in our network will respond immediately. 

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