Rather than see its license to provide nursing home-level care revoked, a local residential-care business has agreed to allow another entity to manage it, temporarily.
Monica White, interim commissioner of the Department of Disabilities, Aging and Independent Living (DAIL), which oversees licensing for elderly care facilities, said that Our House of Rutland has agreed to enter into a stipulated receivership, allowing Mark Stickney, of SpinGlass Management, to assume all of its legal and operational responsibilities with the goal of getting the business to a point where it is consistently meeting all of its regulatory obligations.
White said that two weeks ago, DAIL and the Office of the Vt. Attorney General sought to revoke Our House’s license to provide nursing home level care, after a pattern of noncompliance with regulations as documented in routine surveys.
Our House consists of four residential care homes for people with dementia. It currently houses 47 people, with 21 of them needing nursing home-level care. White said residential homes can be granted variances to provide this level of care, and it was these DAIL sought to revoke.
Rather than do that, White said, the receivership option was undertaken. It allows the people living at Our House who have the higher level of need to remain there while getting the care they need.
White said she expects this will last six months, but if the receiver decides the facility can manage on its own, it might end early.
According to the DAIL website, it conducted a survey at Our House in late April and found several issues related to staff being allowed to work without adequate training. A survey conducted in 2018 showed no issues. A survey from 2016 recorded staff-training issues, while a 2014 survey turned up nothing of significance.
“I’m optimistic that this will enable the facilities to strengthen their operations to be able to provide the level of care that they need to be providing with the licensure that they have,” said White.
Our House is paying for the receiver, she said.
According to White, there are no issues with the buildings themselves, and they appear to be well taken care of and comfortable to live in.
White said the receivership will become official once a Rutland Superior Court judge signs off on it, which was expected to happen Friday.
Paula Patorti, owner of Our House, said she’s hopeful that by the end of this, the company will be in a better position.
“We care for a very special population of residents and their families, as we’ve done for the past 20 years, in honor and in memory of my mother-in-law, Angelina (Innone), and her journey through dementia,” said Patorti on Friday. “Today would be Angie’s birthday. Our residents need us, and we need them, and that hasn’t changed, and we’re looking forward to the best outcome for our residents and their families.”
She said staffing has been a challenge at Our House, adding that staffing has been tough all across the health care industry, and every industry as of late.
Patorti said Our House families have been notified of this development. She expects to begin working with the receiver early next week and working alongside them to solve the issues.