Local nursing home listed among worst in the country

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December 3, 2007
NEWS 12 at 6 o'clock

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- The Place of Augusta is a local nursing home that's been serving the community for years. But they found themselves on an unwanted list--the 54 worst nursing homes in the country.

"It was disappointing, especially in view of all the hardwork everybody's been doing here," said Jane Lancaster, the Nursing Supervisor.

Jeff Dickson's mother-in-law lives at The Place in Augusta. He says the nursing home should not be on the list.

"It's a gross mistake in my opinion," said Dickson,"I stay up here anywhere from 3...5...7 times a day. My wife comes up here all the time. I spend more time here than I did at home. These people give professional care."

The facility is listed as one of the worst nursing homes because state health inspectors found 9 health violations, including: failure to make sure the nursing home is free of dangers that cause accidents, failure to have a program to keep infection from spreading and failure to provide needed housekeeping and maintenance.

"I don't see it. I can't tell it," said Dickson.

Employees say the violation survey is misleading.

"Anything that was identified by the surveys was immediately corrected," added Lancaster.

Lancaster says some violations were corrected as soon as two days after the inspection. All 10 violations were corrected by mid-September--almost three months before the worst nursing home list was made public.

And just two months ago, The Place of Augusta was found to be in "substantial compliance with nursing home requirements," according to a letter from the Georgia Department of Human Resources.

"We've got new management here," says Lancaster,"People that are dedicated to the facility...dedicated to the residents."

And the residents' families are standing up for the place their loved ones call home.

"It aggravates me as a citizen with my taxpayer money to have the government come in and delegate that this is not a good place -- because it is," said Dickson.

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