Woman speaks out on nursing home ‘hell’


Correction appended 

Riverdale resident Una Roskind, 79, entered Schervier Nursing Care Center in January to rehabilitate her broken back. For two months, she received therapy on the first floor and started walking again as a result of the therapy she received. Then, she said, she was told she had reached a plateau and would have to be moved to the third floor where she would live as a long-term care resident. 

The family appealed the decision, but lost. Ms. Roskind decided to stay at Schervier but the transfer meant Medicare would no longer pay for her care and Ms. Roskind would have to pay on her own.

Not only did she face new costs, Ms. Roskind said she encountered “hell” on the third floor, including neglect and verbal abuse at the hands of staff. When she tried to transfer out of Schervier, she said the administration did everything it could to keep her there, including trying to sabotage her transfer to a nearby facility.

Schervier has been at the center of controversy lately. Last month, James Higgins stopped serving as Schervier’s CEO after seven years on the job amid staffing problems at the facility. His exit came after he fired many administrators. According to sources close to Schervier, the facility is currently being investigated by the Attorney General’s Office. 

It was given a two-star, or below average, grade for nursing staffing on its most recent rating from Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. It received five stars overall for quality measures from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, based on inspections, but one star because of depression and anxiety among residents. The report indicated that between January and September 2010, 22 percent of the facility’s residents were depressed or anxious.

While much of the recent debate in both national and state politics has been about slashing funding for Medicaid and Medicare and closing loopholes that allow waste and fraud, nursing homes like Schervier are already being asked to do more with less. 

Schervier Nursing Care Center, elder abuse, Una Roskind, James Higgins, Medicare, Medicaid, New York State Department of Health
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