Disturbing report on The Citadel raises questions about options for families

The Citadel was also the site of one of the worst deadly COVID19 outbreaks in North Carolina.
The Citadel was also the site of one of the worst deadly COVID19 outbreaks in North Carolina.(David Whisenant-WBTV)
Published: Apr. 26, 2022 at 2:35 PM EDT
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SALISBURY, N.C. (WBTV) - Results of a state inspection of a nursing home in Salisbury have raised troubling questions about the care residents are receiving at The Citadel was inspected last month.

Findings included one resident saying staff would not help after the resident was propositioned for sex acts by another resident, inattentive staff, and one staff member covering a resident’s mouth when that resident yelled after being injured. And you may remember this nursing home as the site of one of the deadliest COVID19 outbreaks in North Carolina.

The Citadel, again? That’s what many folks are asking today after a state report raised troubling concerns about patient care. And these are things that The Citadel had vowed to correct in the past.

“They don’t have enough help there, so the people are displacing their anger, they’re putting it on the residents,” said Pat Cohen more than a year ago. Her brother was in The Citadel at that time. “Certain ones are just very mean.”

What about now? A 169-page report found things such as one employee working 22 hours straight due to low staffing, a staff member covering the mouth of a resident yelling after being injured, staff didn’t act when the resident said another resident tried to bribe her for sexual favors, dressings on one resident’s wounds went unchanged for weeks, and medication errors were found in more than 11% of cases.

“Just imagine if it was your mother or your father or one of your relatives, in that situation, you want them to get the best care possible, I find it pretty bad,” said Robert Lattimore of Salisbury. Lattimore is a former Certified Nursing Assistant.

“We got a lot of calls from people saying I want to take my mom out, I want to bring her home, what help can I receive?” Ana Herrera Turpin said. She is a Transitions Manager at Rufty-Homes Senior Center. She says for family members who are worried about loved ones in nursing homes, there are options available. “If somebody wants to bring their loved one back home, we do have those services as well.”

“So, for those older adults who want to stay home, we have a lot of services such as the family caregiver support program where they can receive in-home services so they can stay at home. If they need help with maintaining the home or just making meals we can provide that,” Turpin added. “We also have the CARS program to provide transportation to a medical appointment or the pharmacy so there are a variety of programs that we offer and other agencies as well to help those people age in place and not have to move to other places.”

Rufty-Holmes Senior Center also offers services such as a Lunch Club for Seniors, a Family Caregiver Support Program, as well as many others. The center, located at 1120 S. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Avenue, can be reached at 704-216-7704, or by visiting ruftyholmes.org.

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