Elderwood at Williamsville suffered three confirmed COVID-19 deaths as of January 23, 2021, according to state records. The facility has also received 19 citations for violations of public health code between 2016 and 2020, according to New York State Department of Health records accessed on January 23, 2020. The Williamsville nursing home’s citations resulted from a total of three surveys by state inspectors. The deficiencies they describe include the following:
1. The nursing home did not adequately protect residents from accidents. Section 483.25 of the Federal Code requires nursing homes to ensure each resident environment is ‘as free of accident hazards as is possible.” A February 2019 citation found that Elderwood at Williamsville failed to ensure such. The citation states specifically that three resident units “had issues involving electric heating units in resident rooms with metal surfaces that were very hot to touch and were not shielded from resident access.” In an interview, the facility’s Director of Maintenance said that the nursing home “does not monitor the metal surface temperatures of wall-mounted electric heaters.” A plan of correction undertaken by the facility included the movement of resident beds away from the heaters.
2. The nursing home did not protect residents from the unnecessary use of psychotropic medication. Section 483.25 of the Federal Code stipulates that nursing homes must ensure that residents do not receive psychotropic medications unless they are clinically necessary, and that residents who use them receive gradual dose reductions in an effort to discontinue their use. A February 2019 citation found that Elderwood at Williamsville failed to ensure such. The citation states specifically that one resident receiving an anti-psychotic medication did not receive gradual dose reduction attempts and that there was no documented evidence of behaviors that supported the continued use of the medication. A plan of correction undertaken by the facility included the implementation of a gradual dose reduction.
3. The nursing home failed to ensure the protection of residents’ personal funds. Under Section 483.10 of the Federal Code, nursing home residents have a right to manage their own financial affairs. A September 2020 citation found that Elderwood at Williamsville failed to ensure such. The citation states specifically that when a resident requested a check of more than $100 from their personal funds account, the facility did not provide the check within three business days, in contravention of facility policy. A review of facility records showed that the resident received the check six business days after their request, and one of the facility’s Business Office staffers said in an interview attributed the delay to the absence of the facility’s Administrator, who was on vacation, and was “the only authorized signatory for checks in the building.” A plan of correction undertaken by the facility included the authorization of other personnel to sign checks when the administrator is absent.
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.