Families say they were left in the dark about outbreak in St. Pete elder-care facility


ST. PETERSBURG — Michael Casbar known as Apollo Well being and Rehabilitation Middle two to 3 instances every week to speak to his 88-year-old mom. It was the one means they may talk after the state prohibited guests to elder-care amenities on March 14 to guard them from COVID-19.

When he known as her on June 22, Gloria Casbar informed him the grim information: She had examined constructive.

It was 2 p.m. She examined constructive at 7 a.m. Why didn’t the power name him instantly?

“We should always’ve been knowledgeable by the workers as quickly because it occurred,” mentioned the 53-year-old son.

Three households informed the Tampa Bay Instances that whereas the coronavirus unfold via Apollo Well being, the workers repeatedly didn’t preserve them knowledgeable and uncared for their family members.

The 99-bed facility has had 50 residents identified with the virus, in keeping with state knowledge, together with 12 workers. Of the contaminated, a minimum of 9 have died.

State regulators have additionally been essential of the power at 1000 24th St. N. The Company for Healthcare Administration issued a 32-page report after a Could 15 inspection itemizing deficiencies comparable to workers who failed to scrub their palms and put on required private protecting gear.

The house is operated by Greystone Well being, which issued this response: “Greystone takes very significantly any circumstance the place there could also be a criticism, and we act to resolve points instantly for residents,” mentioned an announcement from spokesperson Karen Marotta.

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Apollo Well being and Rehabilitation Middle resident Gloria Casbar, 88, along with her son, Michael Casbar, 53. She examined constructive for COVID-19. The son has complained about how the workers has communicated with the household and cared for his mom. [Courtesy of Michael Casbar]

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The three daughters of Doreen Ryan say they’ve had their very own struggles with the best way Apollo Well being has handled their 85-year-old mom, Doreen Ryan.

Adele Gilmore, 59, who mentioned her mom examined constructive for the coronavirus on June 24 and nonetheless lives there, mentioned she has spent weeks attempting to study her mom’s situation and procure her medical data.

“Once you name these individuals, you don’t get a solution,” Gilmore wrote in an e mail to the Instances. “They’re at all times in a gathering, they’re cellphone rings and rings, they are saying they’re going to name again and also you by no means hear again from them.”

Gilmore mentioned she used to go to her mom a minimum of as soon as a day earlier than the customer ban. Again then, Gilmore mentioned she seen that workers not often cleaned her mother’s room adequately. The daughter mentioned she usually discovered the ground and the rolling desk her mom ate on stained with meals and soda.

In February, shortly after her mom moved into the power, Gilmore mentioned she noticed fecal matter smeared on the ground subsequent to her mother’s wheelchair. She requested the workers to wash it up a number of instances.

When she requested an worker the place the mop was, she mentioned she was informed that “the upkeep particular person had left so the mop is locked up.”

Lastly, she mentioned she did it herself utilizing a disinfectant wipe from her purse.

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Doreen Ryan, 85, who examined constructive for COVID-19, holding one of many teddy bears her daughters obtained her. She is a residents of Apollo Well being and Rehabilitation Middle, and her daughters complain about how the workers has communicated with them and cared for his or her mom. [Courtesy of Adele Gilmore]

In early March, Gilmore mentioned she realized one thing amiss along with her mom’s hair: She had lice. The daughter and a staffer utilized lice therapy that night.

The youngest sister, Andrea Ryan, 56, mentioned when she visited her mother, her mouth was swollen and inflicting her ache. She mentioned she requested an worker — who appeared “exhausted and overworked” — what occurred to her mother’s mouth.

“I don’t know,” is the response Ryan mentioned she obtained from the staffer. “I don’t know what her mouth is meant to appear to be.”

The worker mentioned she was “too busy” to assist.

The daughter suspected her mom had an abscessed tooth. However she mentioned it took two days earlier than a health care provider identified her mom and prescribed antibiotics.

In conversations she had with nursing residence workers whereas visiting her mother, Gilmore mentioned that she discovered that morale amongst workers to be extraordinarily low.

“All of them say they’re overworked, underpaid and don’t wish to be within the nursing enterprise anymore,” Gilmore mentioned.

She worries how her mother is faring within the facility within the almost fourth months since they’ve seen her. With out household at their mom’s aspect, the daughter fears nobody is advocating for her, checking on her well being, cleansing her area — a essential concern since her mom was identified with COVID-19 on June 24.

Center sister Cara Ryan, 62, known as her mom on July 4. She mentioned mother sounded “very unhappy” as a result of she now not had her private belongings, together with her purse, walker and teddy bear — a present her 4 daughters despatched for Easter.

The subsequent morning, Ryan mentioned she known as the power to study extra about her mom’s well being. Seven instances, she mentioned, she was placed on maintain or transferred to somebody who by no means picked up.

When Gilmore obtained a maintain of the nursing director, she was informed that when residents are moved inside the power their belongings don’t go along with them.

The daughters nonetheless don’t know if their mom obtained her teddy bear again.

• • •

Goodren Adams, 79, has lived in Apollo Well being since December. She misses her husband and daughter dearly. She has not contracted the virus, and mentioned she was lately moved to part of the power housing those that have examined adverse.

However her new mattress was damaged, she mentioned, and couldn’t be lowered. Thus Adams mentioned she can’t transfer from her wheelchair to the mattress. She mentioned she spent eight nights sleeping in her wheelchair, ready for the power to switch her mattress.

“I really feel pissed off, uncared for and never taken care of,” she mentioned.

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Goodren Adams, proper, along with her siblings. The 79-year-old is a resident at Apollo Well being and Rehabilitation Middle and complained about how the workers has cared for her. [Courtesy of Janice Nicholas]

Adams mentioned she additionally lately went 9 days with out showering as a result of no workers supplied to assist. She mentioned she has needed to wait as much as two hours to make use of the lavatory — that’s the longest it has taken for somebody to reply after she hit the decision button.

Then she mentioned she needed to wait 10 minutes on the bathroom for somebody to return assist transfer her again to her mattress.

Then there are the cockroaches, Adams mentioned, ” “from bee-size to bat-size.”

She mentioned workers members seem like gentler and extra attentive when her husband and daughter might go to. However that was a very long time in the past.

“Workers would at all times be extra nice when members of the family had been there to see,” Adams mentioned. “Once they are available (now), they only throw the stuff down and depart.”

The Instances despatched an inventory of the complaints detailed on this report back to Greystone Well being. The spokeswoman mentioned lots of them have been addressed and the Apollo Well being care group is “working straight with the households on these as wanted.”

The ability’s head nurse known as Adams’ daughter Wednesday night time and organized a video name with Ryan’s 4 daughters Thursday to debate their issues. Each households mentioned it was the primary time a staffer contacted them.

Casbar’s household, nevertheless, mentioned they haven’t heard from the power.

• • •

Michael Casbar mentioned his mom’s well being quickly deteriorated after she was identified on June 22 with the coronavirus.

She began experiencing nausea and dizziness and misplaced her sense of odor and style. She was placed on oxygen assist the subsequent day.

Apollo Well being’s therapy additionally deteriorated, he mentioned. His mom was moved to an area put aside to deal with COVID-19 sufferers. She had a historical past of falling, however Casbar mentioned her mattress had no rails. He requested the workers to put in them. He was informed they “will maintain it.”

That by no means occurred. His mom fell off the bed once more, the son mentioned, and Apollo Well being’s workers known as the household at midnight on June 25 to inform them she was being rushed to the emergency room.

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Gloria Casbar, 88, heart, surrounded by her household. She is a resident at Apollo Well being and Rehabilitation Middle who examined constructive for COVID-19. Her household has complained about how the workers there has communicated with them and cared for her. [Courtesy of Michael Casbar]

His mom was taken to St. Anthony’s Hospital, the place the son mentioned the household realized what else they are saying the workers didn’t share with them.

She was additionally identified with double pneumonia, a scarring and irritation of the lungs that may be introduced on by COVID-19, and anemia, the son mentioned. She can be experiencing congestive coronary heart failure and stage 4 kidney failure.

After consulting medical doctors, the Casbars mentioned they determined Wednesday afternoon to discontinue therapy and start consolation care for his or her mom.

“As a result of lockdown initiated at Apollo, nobody has been capable of see my mother since March — the considered her passing alone having not seen her household in months is heartbreaking,” the son wrote in a textual content to the Instances final week.

“If solely Apollo had been extra diligent, possibly issues can be totally different.”

Gloria Casbar died late Saturday night time.

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