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Letter: Brompton Heights penalty does not reflect ‘dereliction’

Lou Michel’s detailed investigation of an incident at Brompton Heights made me sick.

An 87-year-old resident, who at admission was determined to be a risk for wandering and falling, who paid $5,500 a month for services that would give her a respectable quality of life in her later years, was found wandering in a nightgown at 7:30 a.m. after almost five hours outside on a snowy freezing December night.

As she wandered in the winter weather one employee slept for 4-plus hours since he combined his lunch and break periods, and three others just ignored cries for help, alarms and took an hour-long break.

Results – the home is fined $1,000? – by the state Health Department.

How could any Health Department official come up with that “penalty for this offense and dereliction” – see definition above.

This tragic situation could have been avoided with proper management controls and supervision. And some health official analyzed this as a $1,000 fineable offense? Sad and so wrong.

Yes, the state’s Attorney General is charging the staff members and hopefully justice will be served.

Yet how about the home that collected $5,500 a month to provide this woman with a safe caring environment in her late years? Justice must also be served here. The home must be forced to see its wrongs, and detail changes in daily practices, checks and balances, so this does not happen again and pay an amount more reflective of its “dereliction.”

Randy Philipps

Town of Tonawanda

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