‘He suffered’: Families share concerns as VDH continues to investigate Westport Rehabilitation and Nursing Center
HENRICO, Va. (WWBT) - As the Virginia Department of Health investigates complaints and concerns against Westport Rehabilitation and Nursing Center, families and current and former Westport residents continue to share stories with 12 On Your Side.
“My family, my close family, doesn’t know the horror,” explained Paige. “After what happened to my father, I thought, what happens to the people that are still there who don’t have a voice?”
Paige is one of more than a dozen people who reached out to the On Your Side Investigators via phone, email, left voicemails and social media messages following the initial story of a grandson’s concerns about the facility.
Each person who reached out had a different story, but there were similar experiences, such as:
- Using the ‘call button’ for help from Westport staff ends with patients/residents waiting long periods for someone to respond.
- The facility itself smells of urine and feces.
- Residents/patients are left in their urine and feces for long periods.
Paige contacted NBC12 because she says sleeping has been hard since her dad died in January.
“That was the only COVID bed available on Dec. 23, 2022, in Richmond, Virginia,” she explained.
She says her father, who had spent five years living with her, was hospitalized with COVID-19.
At the time, she was sick at home and quarantined with her husband and children. When it was time for her father to be transferred to Westport, Paige did research and was not pleased with what she found in a Centers for Medicare and Medicaid inspection report.
“I saw the violations [from] October . So I knew, and [I was] hoping and praying that if I just tried to keep tabs and call every day. The problem is during the holidays. You couldn’t get through to anyone. I was groveling and begging for people to please call me back,” Paige explained.
Paige says her father fell within one day of being admitted to the skilled nursing facility. She was told the 90-year-old was not injured. Six days later, she got another call.
“I received the subsequent call that he was on the way to the hospital via ambulance because he had had another fall,” she said.
Her father was admitted on Dec. 23, 2022. Paige says he fell on Dec. 24 and again on Dec. 30. When she got to the emergency room to see her father, Paige says she was horrified.
“He looked like he had been in a fistfight, a street brawl. His entire right side was completely bloody. His arm was torn from the wrist all the way up to the mid-elbow,” said Paige. “It looked like he had been on the floor for some time trying to get up, and he had sores in his mouth everywhere. He had pneumonia, a UTI, severe dehydration, liver failure and kidney failure.”
The decision was made to place her father in hospice care.
“We were in hopes of him regaining his strength and coming back home. In less than a week, he declined so much that by the time he got back to the hospital, it was advised that he needed to go into hospice,” she said.
Her father died on Jan. 2. Paige decided to file a complaint with the Virginia Department of Health and received a letter saying the agency would investigate.
“I tried to do what I could. I thought, well, I’ll go through and file a complaint. Maybe something will be done. But I keep seeing the reviews come up on Google,” she said. “There’s other people out there that have the same thing happening over and over. It needs to stop. It’s not probably just Westport.”
In an inspection report through VDH, Paige says she found what appears to be an explanation of what happened to her father.
“The findings include: For Resident #6 (R6), the facility staff failed to develop a complete baseline care plan for falls. R6 was admitted to the facility on 12/23/22. R6′s baseline care plan created on 12/23/22 documented, ‘The resident is at risk for falls related to decreased mobility med (medication) use and incontinent episodes Dementia hemiplegia CVA (cerebrovascular accident) HTN (hypertension) generalized muscle weakness resident with multiple health issues.”
Further review of R6′s care plan failed to document any interventions to address falls (until after the resident’s discharge). A nurse’s note dated 12/24/22 documented the resident sustained a fall with no injury on that date. Further review of the baseline care plan failed to reveal it was reviewed and revised to include interventions implemented after the 12/24/22 fall (until after the resident’s discharge).”
On March 23, Westport Rehabilitation and Nursing was found ‘in compliance’ with all regulations surveyed.
“Dad was a Korean War vet,” said Paige. “If you survived Korea, you should be able to survive in a nursing home and not suffer the way he did. I think he would be relieved to know that, hopefully, the truth can be brought to the surface. While I’m not sure how much Virginia Department of Health can do, maybe this [story] can bring some answers. I have to live with this nightmare. It’s been a nightmare. It’s been four months, but it seems like it’s been four years.”
Following recent reports, the Virginia Department of Health confirms it is investigating Westport Rehabilitation and Nursing Center.
“We are aware of the story that aired regarding Westport Rehabilitation and Nursing Center, and the matter is being investigated,” said Kimberly Beazley, director of the Office of Licensure and Certification.
The On Your Side Investigators have emailed Westport Rehabilitation and Nursing Center twice. May 1 is the last time NBC12 received a response from the facility.
“Westport Rehabilitation and Nursing Center’s singular focus is resident care and welfare. While we have achieved 3 stars on quality measures from CMS and did not receive any high-level deficiencies on our last survey, we constantly strive to improve. Whenever we fail to meet our own expectations or that of a resident, we learn from that experience and grow as a community.”
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