LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KARK) — On the outside, Capital Health and Rehabilitation Center in Little Rock looks homey.
But inside, a report from the Department of Health and Human Services details conditions no one would want their loved ones to live in.
The survey found the nursing home “failed to ensure necessary care and services were provided for hygiene and urinary catheter maintenance” for one resident who had an indwelling catheter.
According to the documents, nurses said, “They [maggots] were, like, going inside his penis. It’s just gross. Nasty. I’m not going to say it was a handful, but it was a lot. They were little.”
The report said that resident, who is completely dependent on others, then contracted a urinary tract infection.
However, maggots were not the only things lurking where they shouldn’t be.
“The flies were real bad down there,” a nurse said in the report. “We had fly swatters. I have killed a couple of flies in his room and one was under the covers. But I didn’t think anything about that.”
The same survey found the nursing home also “failed to ensure adequate supervision… interventions… and increased monitoring” for a 92-year-old resident with dementia who requires total supervision.
The report said he escaped from the facility twice. A visitor let him out the first time, and employees found him under a tree on the grounds. It’s unknown how he got out the second time, but his son found him at a nearby restaurant.
According to the documents, the nursing home was not aware the resident was missing either time, which caused his son to question his father’s safety there and request his transfer to a different facility.
The report states he is no longer at Capital Health and Rehabilitation Center.
The survey concluded both experiences resulted in the worst rating for the nursing home, “the level of Immediate Jeopardy, which caused or could have caused serious harm, injury or death.”
According to DHS, the facility self-reported the deficiencies and will owe nearly $21,000 because of them.
According to the documents, Capital Health and Rehabilitation Center devised corrective action plans in response to the issues.
In regards to the maggots, the nursing home inspected every room, deep cleaned the resident’s room and hired a pest control company to spray for flies. It also developed a routine schedule to ensure nurses were properly following the catheter care protocol and required department supervisors to make daily rounds.
In regards to the escapee, the facility changed all door codes, posted signage to the front door asking visitors to notify the staff before letting anyone out and sent a letter to all family members. It also completed inservices with staff members about what to do when there is a missing resident and what is included in the facility’s elopement policy.
In nursing homes, elopement is a type of unsupervised wandering that results in leaving the facility.
We went inside the nursing home to speak with employees. Their corporate office, Skyline Highland Holdings, advised them not to say anything.
According to DHS, Skyline has several corporations in Arkansas that own or manage nursing facilities, with a total of 21 across the country.
Lawmakers, attorneys and others were also hesitant to voice their opinion Thursday, mostly because of the looming tort reform issue in 2018.
Business leaders across Arkansas are pushing for limits to payouts in certain lawsuits.
They want voters to pass a constitutional amendment in next year’s midterm election that would cap non-economic and compensatory damages in lawsuits.
A similar push centered just around medical lawsuits was thrown off last year’s ballot.