Sodus Rehabilitation and Nursing Center has been the focus of a number of recent exposes chronicling deplorable levels of abuse and neglect in the New York City facility. Investigations have revealed bed-bound patients left in their own filth for hours along with a litany of other health and safety violations, many of which may be tied to understaffing and a determination to maximize profit at the expense of quality care.
Though Sodus is attracting much of the attention, the problem is not isolated to one facility. Nursing homes all over the state are regularly in the news for violations of health and safety standards, and for failures to provide the most basic levels of care for some of the most at-risk populations.
Longtime New Yorkers may remember Willowbrook, the state institution for people with Developmental Disabilities that was the subject of a 1972 expose that launched the career of Geraldo Rivera. Mr. Rivera shocked the nation with footage of hundreds of people warehoused, living their entire lives in large rooms devoid of clothing or privacy.
Just as with Sodus, Willowbrook was only the tip of the iceberg. As national attention became focused on these state institutions for people with disabilities, it became clear that nearly all of them were operating under the same flawed and dangerous model of dehumanization. Residents everywhere were being overmedicated and understaffed. It is likely that the more Sodus draws attention to instances of abuse, the more other nursing homes will be revealed to be following the same playbook.
If your loved one is in an elderly care facility, and you suspect abuse or neglect is occurring, knowing how to proceed can be difficult. Moving your loved one to a different facility can be prohibitively expensive, and there is no way to know that the care will be any better. Please, consider consulting with an experienced attorney regarding how to hold these facilities accountable for their actions.