INVESTIGATION: Niagara Falls Nursing Home Cited, Fined; But Remains Open• WKBW
By Charlie Specht
Jackie Murray-White’s relatives have lived in some of the most troubled nursing homes in Western New York.
There’s Emerald South on Delaware Avenue, where a man beat 82-year-old Ruth Murray to death in August.
And Humboldt House, which drew scrutiny for a rat infestation that same month.
But Murray-White says none of those places compares to the poor conditions her mother faced at Niagara Rehabilitation & Nursing in Niagara Falls.
“Out of all the places she could have been placed, this is the worst one I’ve ever seen,” Murray-White said. “It’s disgusting.”
Located in one of the most blighted areas of the cataract city, the Cedar Avenue facility has been called a modern day poor house – and a nursing home of last resort.
“It’s hard not to conclude that there’s some major issues at the facility,” said Niagara Falls Mayor Paul A. Dyster. “It really seemed as though the staff were being pressed to the limits of what they could try to do for the people who were there.”
One of those patients called 7 Eyewitness News, pleading for our help. Her complaint prompted us to launch a two-month-long investigation into conditions at the nursing home.
7 Eyewitness News dug through years of state reports and found many troubling problems. We talked to many current and former patients, employees and managers of the nursing home – many who want to see improvements at the nursing home.
“The urine stench when you walk out onto the floor was overpowering,” said Murray-White, the daughter of a recent patient. “When you walk by their room, people would call, asking for help, because none of the nurses would help them.”
She said the conditions were so bad, she refused to bring her new baby there to visit – except when they had no choice but to come.
“My sister and I would have to leave our homes because no one would come take her to the bathroom,” Miller-White said. “There was a time where she sat for two to three hours in her own pee because no one would clean her up…They would yell at her for calling.”