August 25, 2018

Scrabble Manor

Tales of Horror & Neglect.
One cold morning in February, This Patient walked away from the Scrabble Manor Adult Home, headed north. She stumbled into the woods about a mile away.
She fell repeatedly. She walked in circles. She curled up under a pine tree.
And that’s where police found her frozen body two days later, her socks next to her body, no shoes on her feet. A medical examiner ruled that she died of hypothermia.
She was 54 years old and suffered from severe schizophrenia. She had lived in Scrabble Manor because she needed help with daily activities and self-care that an adult home is supposed to provide.
Her death, while an extreme, underscores the deplorable conditions at some of the Hudson Valley’s worst adult homes. In too many of these homes, residents are routinely subjected to neglect, filth and indifference.
Inspections at 22 licensed adult homes in Ulster, Sullivan and Orange counties from 2001-07 turned up 846 violations deemed to directly affect the safety or well-being of residents - with two-thirds of those citations recorded at the seven adult homes operated in Sullivan County.
A year after This Patient disappeared, another Scrabble Manor resident, walked away from the home.
She was 78yo and had dementia and heart disease. State police believe she suffered a fatal heart arrhythmia while walking early on Feb. 23.
They believe she was trying to crawl back to Scrabble Manor when she collapsed on a neighbor’s front lawn and died.
The adult home was supposed to do hourly bed checks, but the Manor owner said at the time that an employee had failed to do so.
No one noticed She was missing.
Adult home inspection reports and history documented by state agencies make it clear: Residents of some Hudson Valley adult homes are at a significant risk of illness, injury or even death due to carelessness or negligence on the part of the homes’ operators and staff.
Despite reforms over the past few years, state oversight has been ineffective in regulating these homes, which house a vulnerable population of the elderly, infirm and mentally ill. And anyone can end up in an adult home. All it takes is a medical crisis that renders someone unable to live on his or her own.
State documents paint a disturbing picture of homes where residents are left to sit in soiled clothing, are subjected to physically or verbally abusive staffers and repeated instances of mismanaged medications.
The state Department of Health cited the Scrabble Manor Adult Home for 119 deficiencies from 2001-07. One citation in 2001 noted that none of the home’s five communal bathrooms had any kind of locks.
Adult homes are supposed to offer housing and basic services to five or more people in a communal-style setting. Employees help residents as needed with day-to-day living, such as dressing, hygiene, housekeeping, meals and taking medications.
Adult homes have existed in various forms for a century. Over the past 30 years, however, as the state has closed psychiatric hospitals, more people with severe and persistent mental illness have moved into these places.
A lack of proper training and supports make adult homes a poor fit for people with severe mental illness.
More than 11,000 people with severe mental illness - or just over one-third of the state’s adult home population - live in 488 licensed facilities. The 2008-09 budget includes $20 million to allow three state agencies to buy adult homes to convert to mental health or other housing.
Adult homes (also called “adult care facilities”) differ from nursing homes in that nursing homes provide 24-hour nursing care, diagnostic services, pharmacy, physical therapy and social services. A resident must qualify medically for nursing home admission.
To qualify for an adult home, residents must be unable to live independently for medical or psychiatric reasons. Theoretically, adult homes provide a clean, safe environment and conscientious care. How well those services are provided depends on the operator.
















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