Dear Governor Hogan:
The Kent County Commission on Aging is extremely concerned about the quality and quantity of care at Peak Health Care of Chestertown, a long-term care facility with over 60 residents licensed by the Department of Health.
Statistics indicate that staffing levels there fall well below the recommended amounts, for both registered nurses and other health care workers. Their continued reliance on contract workers is an indicator that residents are not getting the continuity of care, informed by permanent staff who are familiar with residents’ needs.
In December a front-page story in The Washington Post focused on this facility, interviewing workers and describing some very disturbing findings:
Peak employees no longer get paid time off for major holidays
Supplies have been in such short supply that one Chestertown housekeeper went to Dollar General to buy bleach and laundry detergent with his own money
From July through September there was no hot water
The article explained that a private-equity firm purchased the facility in 2020. It indicated that there is little or no oversight of nursing home purchases, which can result in a rapid decrease in quality of care and patient safety.
We ask that the State provide more frequent and thorough inspections of these facilities in an effort to increase safety, ensure sufficient staffing, and improve care for the most vulnerable among us.
We appreciate your attention to this problem. We all have an interest in the quality of life for our seniors.
Muriel Cole and Carolyn Sorge
Kent County Commission on Aging