Harrisonburg Health and Rehabilitation Center accused of neglect

Published: May. 19, 2022 at 5:04 PM EDT
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - Multiple people have made serious allegations of neglect against Harrisonburg Health and Rehabilitation Center. Family members of residents there said that residents are dealing with unsanitary conditions and poor treatment.

“I don’t care if you have an enemy don’t take them to this place. It is horrible, I’m talking about horrible. I hope they do something about it,” said Toy Sutherly, the daughter of an HHRC resident.

Suthelry said that the conditions inside the center are very concerning.

“Anybody can walk in there and see there’s so much neglect. Blood on the floor, drinks on the floor, dirty diapers on the floor where residents have thrown them because they’re tired of sitting in their own feces. I have seen that,” she said.

Candace Barnett’s mother was a resident of the facility from November to early April. She said the conditions are disgusting.

“You just walk in, the amount of urine you smell and how lethargic the people look, it’s dreadful,” said Barnett. “See for yourself, look at the bathrooms, look at the leaky faucets and the ants that are crawling in cups. There are many levels of neglect that we’ve seen and I’ve never seen so many bodies go out of there in my life.”

Barnett’s mother has Aphasia and is blind and has been moved to hospice care at home since leaving the center. She details how she saw her mother’s condition deteriorate in the few months she was there.

“Mom lost like 60 pounds in four weeks. I would walk in and her lips would be peeling. I would have to call like 3,4, 5 times a day just to tell the aides, tell the nurses to give her a drink of water,” she said.

Sutherly’s mother has been a resident of the center for just one month, and she said there have been major problems from the beginning.

“I would go in, she would be sitting in feces for many hours, especially overnight and there were times I went in and she hadn’t been fed,” she said.

Sutherly said the aides and nurses consistently failed to change her mother’s diaper so much so that her entire bottom became raw and she developed a bedsore.

“They are keeping her in there because of that bedsore because it’s so big now they’re afraid she’s going to develop either MRSA or Sepsis. If it does that’s what will probably take her life,” she said.

Both concerned women contacted Adult Protective Services which says it has been looking into several cases of neglect at the center.

“APS called me and she wanted to let me know that it had been found that they are neglecting my mother,” said Sutherly.

Barnett said that she continuously advocated for her mother while she was at the center and her mother’s best friend would spend hours there caring for her, but help was almost never available.

“There’s a lot of people in there dying because of what it is, obviously, but they’re suffering and nobody needs to go out like that,” she said. “People who cannot help themselves, they don’t need to be there. If you have family there get them out. That’s the basic message, get them out, they are suffering.”

WHSV contacted Harrisonburg Health and Rehabilitation Center multiple times on Wednesday and Thursday for comment, but as of now no official statement regarding the allegations has been given.

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