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Crest Haven: Quality Care, but Long Wait 4.19.2006

By Rick Racela

CREST HAVEN – A North Wildwood man told freeholders April 12 he was “very frustrated and “tired of the runaround” in his efforts to get his mother-in-law into the county’s Crest Haven Nursing Home.
Richard Sanguinetti said his mother-in-law, 84, has been No. 1 on the list for the Alzheimer’s unit for months, but keeps getting passed over by “lateral moves” from the regular residents to the unit.
Freeholder Gerald M. Thornton, liaison to the home, acknowledged that is the policy. He said there is a 30-person waiting list for the home, with demand “so great because of its quality care.
“I get 12-15 calls a week  in cases similar to yours,” said Thornton.
“She could be No. 1 forever,” said Sanguinetti.
He said his mother-in-law currently is in a home in Absecon, but the trip is “45 miles each way” and is costing family members $300 to $400 a week.
Thornton told Sanguinetti that, “because of you,” the home changed its policy on rehab patients so that if they needed to go into the long-term care facility, they had to get on  the waiting list “behind everybody else.”
“It can take 30 days to find another facility,” said Thornton.
“There are only 700 beds in Cape May County,” said Sanguinetti.  “That’s sad.”
He also said “There are no beds available in Cape May County.”
Thornton told the Herald the next day that a check of other homes found a couple dozen available beds including 10 at Eastern Shore Nursing and Rehabilitation Center and 10 at Oceana Rehabilitation and Nursing Center.
“We have discussed an addition (to the home),” said Thornton  “but we are not sure we could staff it with CNAs, RNs, LPNs…”
He told the Herald an addition would have to be 60 beds. The home currently has 120   beds, but 10 are in the Alzheimer’s unit, eight are in a rehab unit, and 10 will be in a  hospice unit slated to open shortly.
Contact Zelnik at (609) 886-8600 Ext. 27 or: jzelnik@cmcherald.com.

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