Riverdale Nursing Home Cited for Elopement, Pests

Riverdale Nursing Home received 37 citations for violations of public health laws between 2015 and 2019, according to New York State Department of Health records accessed on November 21, 2019. Those citations number five more than the statewide average of 32. The Bronx nursing home’s citations resulted from a total of four inspections by state authorities. The violations they describe include the following:

1. The nursing home did not ensure it provided an accident-free environment. Section 483.25 of the Federal Code stipulates that nursing homes must provide residents an environment as free as possible from accident hazards, and with adequate supervision and assistive devices to prevent accidents. According to a December 2015 inspection, the facility failed to provide adequate supervision when a resident exited the premises “unnoticed by staff.” The male resident left Riverdale Nursing Home “around 4:36 AM,” according to the citation, and “was not identified as missing until 2:23 PM, nearly 10 hours later.” A surveillance video showed the resident exiting through a door to a patio area, wheeling a barbecue grill to a 6-foot fence, putting a chair next to the grill, and trying three times to climb from the chair to the grill and over the fence; he fell on the first two attempts, then made it over the fence on the third. A report found that the security guard on duty had “failed to lock the patio door” and to monitor security footage.

2. The nursing home did not maintain an effective pest control program. Section 483.70 of the Federal Code requires that nursing homes “maintain an effective pest control program so that the facility is free of pests.” A September 2016 citation describes an inspector’s observation that “numerous live roaches were… crawling on walls and floor” of a second floor closet. The citation notes that the closet is across from several resident rooms and adjacent to a common area. The closet itself was used for the storage of “cleaning supplies such as broom and detergents.” An inspector noted live roaches crawling in the closet, as well as dead roaches on the floor. The citation states that this deficiency had the “potential to cause more than minimal harm.”

3. The nursing home did not meet food sanitation standards. Section 483.35 of the Federal Code stipulates that nursing homes must “store, prepare, distribute and serve food under sanitary conditions.” A December 2015 citation describes an inspector’s observation that food was not prepared and stored in accordance with professional practices, and additionally that a staffer did not follow proper sanitation protocol while assisting a resident with a meal. An inspector specifically observed a pan of pureed vegetables dated seven days earlier; an opened and undated container of bulk bologna; “raw chicken sitting in solidified fat [that] was undated”; an undated pan of pre-sliced cold cuts; and caked-on debris on exhaust hoods in the kitchen. The inspector also noted that the facility was using an uncalibrated thermometer. As for the staffer’s failure to follow proper sanitation protocol, the inspector specifically observed a Certified Nursing Assistant help a set up a resident’s meal after lifting that resident’s food and putting on his sandals with his bare hands, without washing his hands in between. During an interview, the assistant said he “did not realize he needed to wash his hands.”

The attorneys at the Law Offices of Thomas L. Gallivan, PLLC work diligently to protect the rights of nursing home residents.  Please contact us to discuss in the event you have a potential case involving neglect or abuse.

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