When we think about where our loved ones will spend their golden years, most of us don’t picture understaffed facilities employing known abusers, or dementia patients warehoused, mistreated and helpless to advocate for themselves.
By Gillian Bullock and Diana DiGangi for Capital News Service
But citations issued by government inspectors paint a grim picture of long-term care at dozens of facilities in Virginia.
Evelyn Lee and her sister were faced with the decision of placing their mother in a nursing home when their mother experienced a stroke. Lee’s mother selected a nursing home that best suited her needs of acute care for her to undergo physical therapy. When Lee’s mother’s health began to steadily decline, Lee and her sister started their search for a long-term care facility.
“We looked to see if there was availability, if the nursing home was easily accessible to my sister, and the general aesthetic such as how the facility looked and smelled,” said Lee, a reverend at First Baptist Church Bute Street. “When looking at facilities, we looked at the state survey and looked to see if any citations were given to the nursing homes.”
Of the 290 nursing homes in Virginia, 72 nursing homes have faced penalties totaling more than $4.7 million since 2014, according to data posted online by Medicare, the government agency that provides health care for elderly Americans.
The facilities that have incurred the most fines are:
- Montvue Nursing Home in Luray, with more than $600,000 in fines.
- Cherrydale Health and Rehabilitation Center in Arlington, with almost $240,000 in fines.
- Harrisonburg Health & Rehabilitation Center in Harrisonburg, with more than $192,000 in fines.
Together, those three nursing homes accounted for about 22 percent of the total amount of fines in Virginia.