Nursing home offers apology to families demanding better communication


QUEENSBURY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — On Monday, NEWS10 ABC shared the story of family members concerned they aren’t getting information regarding their loved ones inside a local nursing home. Now, the nursing home is offering an apology.

Two loved ones of residents at Glens Falls Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing contacted NEWS10’s Anya Tucker saying they were having had a hard time getting information from staff inside the facility.

Since the pandemic began and nursing homes shut their doors to visitors to contain the virus, there has been growing concern from family members across the country. Some said that when they call, they are not getting all the information they would like from staff.

Nicole Adam’s said her aunt calls to check on her grandfather, who survived COVID-19 while a resident at Glens Falls Center.

“And when [my aunt] does communicate, there’s quite a kind of nasty tone about it, and she’s kind of brushed off.”

As of Tuesday, the facility has 35 confirmed cases and five residents who died as a result of the coronavirus.

Anya: “Is this nursing home and others lacking in communication?”
Nicole: “Yes. It is.”

“I really feel like I need to apologize to the two families that contacted you,” says Aislinn Smith, administrator at Glens Falls Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing. “I felt so deeply sorry that they are in that situation.”

Smith explained that, just like many other nursing homes, the staff is stretched very thin. She said they are down 20 staff members due to illness or because some simply wished to leave on their own fearing they might catch the virus.

As for any lack of communication, she had this to say:

“We are bound to disappoint someone, and that’s the difficult part of it. Is that recognition that in a typical day we would open the doors and let everyone in. But at this point, we are just trying to keep everyone clean and healthy and eating.”

She said they have begun to update families about COVID-19 cases with robocalls and are enlisting staff from other facilities. But, at the same time, she is also concerned about her co-workers.
She said Sunday was a very rough day when they learned that a fellow colleague was admitted to the ICU and placed on a ventilator.

“I think we will get through this. It just takes a lot of open conversation; a huge understanding for what this really is. It’s like fighting a war.”

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