Nursing homes face COVID-19 surge

nursing home.png
Posted at 6:18 PM, Nov 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-24 18:18:07-05

The state health department’s latest report on long term care facilities shows more than 1,000 new resident COVID-19 cases and over 1,200 new staff member cases as of November 18th.

Meanwhile families aren’t allowed inside to check on their loved ones and some are worried they aren’t being taken care of.

“She’s got dementia so, we’re like her voice and we can’t be there to be her voice.”

Two families reached out to 7 Action News asking to speak anonymously out of concern for their mother’s safety.

“It’s really hard, it’s really hard. It’s one of the hardest things in the world,” says one family member.

Stuck outside while their loved ones are stuck inside Four Seasons Nursing Home in Westland amid a COVID-19 outbreak is hard enough.

Making matters worse, two different families say they called repeatedly and couldn’t get through to get updates on their family member until they posted on Facebook.

“What’s going on with my mom? No one is answering the phone, I’ve been trying to call, no one is answering the phone and another lady commented, that we don’t know, saying she was having the same problem," says a family member.

Not long after the post both families finally received calls.

One messaged us “never spoke to a person until she was already in a van heading over an hour away” they were told their mother is COVID-19 positive and being moved to a designated COVID-19 Hub in St. Clair Shores.

The other family also learned their mother is COVID-19 positive and still in the Westland facility.

“We both feel like they didn’t answer the phone on purpose,” says a family member.

Four Seasons posted on Facebook on November 6th they had a staff member test positive. On November 13th a posts says 5 residents and 6 staff members tested positive.

According to the latest info from the state, as of November 18th, there are 21 new resident cases.

“Either they don’t have the proper equipment, like the staff said when they walked out, or they are just not taking care of the residents like they are supposed to, either way, they are infecting them.”

A couple months ago staff went on strike saying they were understaffed, not provided adequate PPE, and the environment was unsafe in the midst of this pandemic.

In response to our inquiry Four Seasons posted a statement on Facebook saying in part that their staff is using PPE and they are following all health department guidelines.

Still, some families worry that answering the phone isn’t the only duty being neglected.

“That this many people are getting sick, something needs to be done. They need help, maybe they need equipment, I don’t know. We just need somebody to help us.”

While Four Seasons is reporting to the state health department, scrolling through the data we found dozens of other long term care facilities that are not compliant with the state health department and are not reporting their case numbers. Families don't know where to turn for help.

"There has to be somebody that can go in there and check things out that are not a part of them you know, who can help us? Who can help the people in there?"

I reached out to LARA the state regulatory agency that oversees these facilities and they say inspections happen once. year. Additional inspections would only happen if complaints are filed.

No complaints have been filed against Four Seasons in Westland.

Individuals who have personal knowledge of a situation at a nursing home and who wish to file complaint may do so by submitting an online form by fax, email, or US mail or call the toll-free Complaint Hotline.

For information on how to file a complaint by go to the Bureau website:
Go to: File a Complaint
Click on: Health Agencies & Facilities

Direct link:,4601,7-154-89334_63294_72973---,00.html

Additional Coronavirus information and resources:

Click here for a page with resources including a COVID-19 overview from the CDC, details on cases in Michigan, a timeline of Governor Gretchen Whitmer's orders since the outbreak, coronavirus' impact on Southeast Michigan, and links to more information from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, the CDC and the WHO.

View a global coronavirus tracker with data from Johns Hopkins University.

See complete coverage on our Coronavirus Continuing Coverage page.

Visit our The Rebound Detroit, a place where we are working to help people impacted financially from the coronavirus. We have all the information on everything available to help you through this crisis and how to access it.