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Dozens protest against neglect and mistreatment in nursing homes outside the Grand in Rome

Dozens showed up to a protest at the Grand in Rome to speak out against neglect and mistreatment in nursing homes.

Posted: Aug 6, 2020 11:18 PM
Updated: Aug 6, 2020 11:22 PM

ROME, N.Y. - Dozens showed up to a protest at the Grand in Rome to speak out against neglect and mistreatment in nursing homes.

Ruth Wallace organized the protest after her mother, RaeJean Wallace, who is a patient at the Grand, posted a video on social media describing the conditions she says she's forced to live in.

“Essentially everybody decided they were going to come together and stand up against nursing home neglect and elder abuse," Ruth said.

The Grand's vice president, Bruce Gendron, says the allegations are not true.

"At times there may be someone who is dissatisfied with the care or service they receive but overall, we believe we provide a good service and very high-quality care," Gendron said.

Those at the protest disagreed, like Tammy Szala, who's father spent time it the Grand.

"He was neglected in here, the infection control was horrendous, he didn’t get proper medical treatment that he was supposed to while he was here," Szala said.

She says she reported the conditions to the state.

“The state found what I reported, infectious control issues and patients’ rights, why is this stuff still going on if the state is aware of it?," Szala said.

Others say the issues start at the top and trickle down to the workers who are responsible for providing care.

“I want them to train their CNA’s, my father would wait hours to be taken to the bathroom, and he couldn’t wait so he would be sitting there all night soaking wet," Shannon Wilczak, the daughter of a previous Grand resident said.

Gendron says his staff at the Grand in Rome do a great job.

"We have a great staff there in Rome, great nurses, RNs, LPNs, CNAs, they’re our backbone of our organization, they do a great job, I’m very proud of them," Gendron said.

Ruth pointed out that it's not just the Grand where neglect and mistreatment is allegedly happening.

"I want to remind everyone it doesn’t just happen here, it happens at several other Grands, several other nursing homes.” Ruth said. “I’ve heard about many, many other nursing homes across the country, across the world.”

But she says she is focusing on the Grand for a reason.

“Why are we cracking down on the Grand? It’s very consistent, it's consistent behavior," Ruth said. "With that said, there are great nurses and supervisors there, unfortunately, those nurses and those aids can’t work 24/7.”

Gendron pointed out that RaeJean Wallace has made similar claims against other nursing homes in the past.

Ruth says that's because when her mom sees something, she speaks up.

“The thing with neglect is it’s going to continue, if you see something, say something," Ruth said.

Gendron says the health department is reviewing the allegations.

"We have not received the written report on that yet, but we fully believe none of the allegations will be substantiated based on comments by the surveyors as they exited."

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