Surprise inspection uncovers mold inside a Cordova nursing home - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Surprise inspection uncovers mold inside a Cordova nursing home

Posted: Updated: Dec 20, 2010 09:44 PM

By Lori Brown - bio | email | Facebook

CORDOVA, TN (WMC-TV) - A surprise inspection revealed mold growing inside a Cordova nursing home.

The Tennessee Health Department made the inspection Monday after receiving a complaint from Sandy Smegelsky, Long-Term Care District Ombudsman for the Metro Inter-Faith Association, or MIFA.

"Extensive mold in the air could affect the ability of a person to breathe," Smegelsky said.

A Tennessee Department of Health spokesperson said the inspection confirmed mold growth at the nursing home.

An open records request by the Action News 5 Investigators revealed that mold just scratches the surface of the problems at Grace HealthCare of Cordova.

State inspection records indicated numerous violations found by the Department of Health and Human Services going back to 2009.

"The facility failed to ensure physician's orders were followed...for 20 of 30 residents," one report said.

"They (employees) turned the call light off 3 or 4 times before (the resident) got the help he needed," a report says a resident told a surveyor.

Another report says a resident was left for over 24 hours with "dentures in her mouth, covered with caked-on food particles."

Two employees of Grace Healthcare were placed on the abuse registry. The registry says one of the employees withdrew $100 from a resident's debit card without permission.

Another employee used a "resident's cell phone without permission," according to the registry.

Smegelsky says while the majority of nursing homes operate properly, the bad ones can be difficult to regulate, unless whistle-blowers come forward, as they did this time.

"Nursing homes are not warehouses. At least they shouldn't be warehouses," Smegelsky said.

Grace HealthCare's administrator Randal McClellan said he would be happy to discuss the concerns we uncovered, Tuesday. He did not want to discuss them Monday night.

If you want to report a problem at a nursing home you can call the Tennessee Department of Health Complaint Hotline at 1-800-852-2187.

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