As a nursing home attorney for over 20 years, I am (unfortunately) familiar with SavaSeniorCare. This billion dollar chain has a history of poor care, short staffing, and allegations of Medicare fraud. They do not operate in good faith.
Once again, a Sava facility is in the news. It is never a good story for residents of SavaSeniorCare. This story involves Jean Chavous Simmons who died June 26, 2019. Simmons’ death is under investigation as a criminal matter. Infection prevention and control is an especially important area to focus on. Safe practices begin with the infection preventionist (IP).
Her cause of death was neglect resulting in sepsis caused by an infected catheter. Simmons suffered from the infection for several weeks without proper treatment. In a rare occurrence, Richmond County Coroner Mark Bowen listed the manner of Simmons’ death as homicide due to neglect.
The victim’s family members filed suit against the nursing home entrusted to take care of her. Windermere Health and Rehabilitation Center in Augusta is owned and operated by SavaSeniorCare and Rubin Schron. Defendants include Savaseniorcare LLC, Savaseniorcare Administrative Services LLC, Savaseniorcare Consulting LLC, Windermere Operating Co., SSC Equity Holding MT LLC and Georgia GL Holdo LLC.
In the civil lawsuit, Simmons’ relatives allege Windermere’s owners sought to maximize profit by operating with dangerously unsafe numbers of unqualified and incompetent direct caregivers. The corporate policy is to admit more patients than they are capable of providing adequate care to based on the unsafe staffing.
Windermere was obviously negligent in caring for Simmons. The neglect caused her to suffer pressure sores, malnutrition and dehydration, infections, considerable pain and premature and wrongful death.
According to the lawsuit, a catheter that was supposed to be checked and cleaned daily was moldy and dirty when Simmons was finally admitted to the hospital. It was too late. She died the next day.
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“If we can’t name it, call it, validate our feelings around it … how can we possibly go forward?” said Savage.
For example, they can’t do anything to change what the media says about them, but they can affect how their facilities handle infection control. Or improve staff morale. Or help themselves, staff and residents cope with grief.
Once DONs acknowledge all of the disturbances that the pandemic has caused, they can move on to addressing the areas they can control.
She pointed out six in particular:
1. The quality of life for staff and residents.
2. Emotional loss and lack of support.
3. The prolonged effects of residents in isolation.
4. Staff burn-out, morale and turnover.
5. Safe infection prevention and control practices.
6. Actively supporting resident family members.
I hope SavaSeniorCare can provide the resources and support to provide the care the residents need.