Coronavirus has been the most deadly to our elderly and disabled neighbors, many of whom reside in local nursing homes. Some of these homes have been particularly hard hit, with Bensonhurst Center for Rehabilitation and Healthcare reporting 34 deaths and Cobble Hill Health Center lodging 55 – more than any other nursing home that had reported data in the state as of yesterday, April 22.
As of yesterday, NYS Department of Health reported a total of 363 nursing home residents had died across Brooklyn’s 171 nursing homes, and another 74 had died in adult care facilities, for a total of 437 COVID-19 deaths. Nursing homes are self-reporting COVID-19 data to NYS DOH and reported death number does not include residents who are transferred to and die at hospitals.
With family visits restricted, and staff and resources strained, complaints have been surfacing from lack of isolation of COVID-19 positive patients, to bodies left in rooms for days. To address the issues NYS Attorney General Letitia James has established a hotline for confidential complaints.
One can call in a complaint at 833-249-8499 or file one online.
“We recognize that the most vulnerable New Yorkers are continuing to suffer through this crisis at nursing homes across the state. While our Medicaid Fraud Control Unit continues to investigate allegations of abuse and neglect in the system, we launched a hotline where residents, families, or members of the public can share complaints about nursing homes that have not provided required communications with families about COVID-19 diagnoses or fatalities,” AG James said in a statement released today.
“The hotline will also accept complaints about nursing home abuse and neglect, including failure to follow rules to keep residents safe. Every nursing home should be provided with adequate PPE and testing, and enhanced infection control protocols must be implemented to protect residents. I am grateful to the workers in our nursing homes who continue to serve and support our vulnerable residents. These workers deserve our respect and must also be tested and protected during this time. My office will continue to work hard to protect residents of nursing homes and make sure their rights are preserved during this crisis and beyond.”