A Rochester nursing home is looking into an anonymous letter mailed to families of patients alleging understaffing and unsafe conditions and neglect at the facility.
“This morning, we became aware that an anonymous letter was mailed from a staff member to families of patients and residents at Colonial Hill Center,” said Lori Mayer of Genesis HealthCare on Monday. “We are fully investigating the concerns identified in the letter and have reported those concerns to the Department of Health and Human Services.”
Colonial Hill Center has 79 beds and is part of Genesis HealthCare.
Maureen Dittmar of Farmington said she received the two-page typed letter on Saturday and is concerned about her 84-year-old mother, Patricia Holmes. She said she visited her mother daily before COVID-19 prevented her from going inside Colonial Hill Center.
“I just don’t know what to do. I’m beside myself,” Dittmar said on Monday. “I’m her baby. I’m the youngest one of my siblings. We’re so close.”
Dittmar is concerned that there are not enough nurses working on each shift and that some nurses may have contact with long-term residents as well as newly admitted individuals who need to be isolated due to concerns about COVID-19.
Dittmar said she is especially worried that the center may be accepting new admissions when there are not enough staff members to care for the people who are already there.
There are signs outside the facility on Rochester Hill Road advertising for new employees.
Mayer, vice president of investor relations, brand management and marketing communications, said it is Genesis HealthCare’s policy to stop admissions if there are staffing level issues.
Genesis HealthCare is headquartered in Kennett Square, Penn., and provides services to more than 350 skilled nursing facilities and assisted living communities in 25 states.
Genesis is planning to use on-site diagnostic testing machines after seeing a steady growth of new COVID-19 cases. Around 12,000 residents and staff, including 8,500 residents, have contracted the virus since the pandemic began, according to McKnight’s Long-Term Care News.