Salem Hills Rehabilitation and Nursing Center Cited for Abuse

Salem Hills Rehabilitation and Nursing Center received 14 citations for violations of public health laws between 2015 and 2019, according to New York State Department of Health records accessed on November 26, 2019. The Purdys nursing home’s citations resulted from a total of four inspections by state surveyors. The violations they describe include the following:

1. The nursing home did ensure residents’ right to freedom from abuse. Under Section 483.12 of the Federal Code, nursing home facilities must uphold residents’ right to freedom “from abuse, neglect, misappropriation of resident property, and exploitation.” A March 2019 citation found that the nursing home did not ensure this right for one of three residents. An inspector specifically found that a Certified Nursing Assistant, in response to a resident slapping her face, “grabbed and held the resident’s left wrist while continuing to hold the right wrist firmly.” A plan of correction undertaken by the facility included, in part, educating CNAs so they “understand that holding on to another person’s hands or wrist as a knee jerk… action” is not appropriate, and that they should instead distance themselves from residents and seek assistance.

2. The nursing home did not keep its residents’ drug regimens free from unnecessary medications. Under Section 483.45 of the Federal Code, nursing homes must maintain “each resident’s drug regimen… free from unnecessary drugs.” A June 2016 citation found that Salem Hills Rehabilitation and Nursing Center did not ensure this right for one resident in an instance where it “did not demonstrate that an antipsychotic medication was necessary to treat the behavioral symptoms of the resident.” The citation states specifically that the resident was exhibiting agitation and paranoia which a psychiatrist said was possibly triggered by visiting family, and further that the psychiatrist stated he would recommend restarting a medication if the behavior reoccurred. A physician then provided an order to restart that medication “with no written justification in light of the psychiatrist’s evaluation and recommendation.” The citation notes further that the resident’s care plan did note note the drug as an intervention to address his “wandering behavior,” and a Certified Nursing Assistant said in an interview that the resident “had no behavior problems” meriting the medication’s reordering.

3. The nursing home did not adequately ensure the availability of water in an emergency situation. Section 483.90 of the Federal Code states in part that nursing home facilities must “establish procedures to ensure that water is available to essential areas when there is a loss of normal water supply.” A September 2017 citation found that the nursing home did not ensure that its three-day emergency water supply was sufficient to provide for all of its residents’ needs. The citation notes specifically that the resident, which had 126 residents at the time, should have had 378 gallons available in its emergency water supply per CDC guidelines recommending one gallon of water per day per person. Instead, it had 110 gallons.

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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