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Protecting your loved ones living in a nursing home

Posted at: 01/16/2013 5:00 PM
Updated at: 01/16/2013 5:22 PM
By: Christine VanTimmeren

A nurse at the Livingston County Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation was arrested and charged with stealing pills from patients there.

29-year-old Lisah Jacobs was arrested on Monday and charged with larceny and criminal possession of drugs.

The director of the Livingston County Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation, Frank Bassett, did not want to go on camera, but told News10NBC that Jacobs was an employee and is no longer. He says he's grateful for another employee who came forward with information about Jacobs.

Bassett says an employee at his facility was told by a community member that Jacobs might be pocketing pills. Bassett said his employee then did exactly what they should have, they went directly to management, who went directly to the Livingston County Sheriff's Department. And within 24 hours, sheriff's deputies arrested Jacobs.
 
So how does something like this happen at a place where our loved ones are supposed to be safe?

Bassett says this kind of thing can happen anywhere. He says there is an important element of trust with all of his employees. No one is standing over their shoulder all day long. Bassett says he believes Jacobs was filling out paperwork, saying patients asked for medications, when in reality, he believes, she was just taking those pills for herself.

News10NBC asked how many patients were affected. Bassett said “a few”, but doesn't have an exact number.

News10NBC spoke with an ombudsman from Lifespan. Her job is to be an adovcate for those in nursing homes.

Alana Russel, Lifespan Ombudsman Program, said, “There are systems in place in terms of supervision. It's pretty independent, adult work. I've never seen anyone on a shift by themselves, there are other co-workers, but no holding hands.”

When it comes to monitoring the safety, cleanliness, and staff at nursing homes, that is the responsibility of the New York State Department of Health. Every year, they are responsible for conducting a survey of each facility that they license.

Those surveys are done unannounced and last anywhere from three days to a week. You can access the results of those surveys anytime you want online.

Alana Russel, Lifespan Ombudsman Program, said, “There are systems in place in terms of supervision. It's pretty independent, adult work. I've never seen anyone on a shift by themselves, there are other co-workers, but no holding hands.”

When it comes to monitoring the safety, cleanliness, and staff at nursing homes, that is the responsibility of the New York State Department of Health. Every year, they are responsible for conducting a survey of each facility that they license.

Those surveys are done unannounced and last anywhere from three days to a week. You can access the results of those surveys anytime you want online. Click here for the links to those sites.