Communication issues appear to be improving at Carthage nursing home

WWNY Communication issues appear to be improving at Carthage nursing home

CARTHAGE, N.Y. (WWNY) - You might say communication from a nursing home has done a 180. After our story last week where families complained to Jefferson County that the Carthage Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing wasn’t talking with them during a COVID outbreak, the center changed things up and it appears to be helping.

Judy McAllister is a rehab technician at Carthage Center Rehabilitation and Nursing. Like many staff members, she hasn’t been able to do her job because she has been home for about two weeks, sick with COVID-19.

“I reached out to our administrator and said, ‘Is there something I can do to help,’” she said.

Last week, Jefferson County Board of Legislators Chairman Scott Gray told 7 News that he has heard several complaints about the facility not answering the phone as COVID cases were rapidly on the rise, and residents were dying.

“So, family members are left wondering what’s going on with their loved ones that are in the nursing facility,” he said last week.

One day later, McAllister says the solution was easy. The center rolled out a new program called Carthage Center is Here For You, where staff members who are sick with COVID-19, communicate with residents’ family members while they are quarantining from home.

“I know all these families and they’re so appreciative. I mean, some family members were in tears, just so thankful that we’re reaching out to them, we’re talking to them,” said McAllister.

McAllister says she has been making 50 to 60 phone calls every day to get people information on their loved ones.

Gray says that some families have reached out to him and said the communication is much better.

“A particular family that told me they received three calls in a day and they actually were able to FaceTime their relatives,” he said Monday.

McAllister says she is a little worn out from COVID, but she is happy to contribute from home. She’s hoping to be back at work next week.

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