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WAMC New York News
Fri February 5, 2010
County Officials In Battle Over Nursing Home Patients
By Dave Lucas
Albany, NY – The way Albany County allegedly treats some of its senior citizens is the latest volley fired in the ongoing battle between two officials over the county nursing home, as we hear in this report from Capital District Bureau Chief Dave Lucas.
County Comptroller Michael Conners has been a long-time critic of County Executive Mike Breslin's handling of the nursing home, and the conflict escalated after Conners said Albany County senior citizens are being sent to out-of-state nursing homes. Conners is up in arms over patients being placed in nursing homes outside the county: he says more than a hundred patients were sent to out-of-state nursing homes in 2008.
Breslin says Conners is wrong: he argues there is a diminshing demand for skilled nursing facilities in Albany County. Conners is calling for assembly and senate joint health committee hearings to discuss the nursing home issue, as well as local hearings in the county legislature. Breslin insists the county "isn't sending anyone anyplace" but notes the Albany County Nursing Home is "reaching the end of its useful life" - he says people prefer long term care alternatives like assisted-living facilities.
Conners says a new County Nursing Home is needed immediately. He is urging people to talk to their representatives and especially Senator Neil Breslin, Mike Breslins' brother, about state policy being adjusted to handle the needs of the county's elderly and disabled.