Syracuse nursing home residents struggle with unreliable air conditioning: Your Stories

Your Stories

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — This heat wave is manageable with air conditioning, but without it? It can be unbearable.

Some residents at the Bishop Rehabilitation and Nursing Center and their concerned family members have called and emailed the NewsChannel 9 Your Stories team saying that the building’s air conditioner is broken.

NewsChannel 9 Adrienne Smith took those concerns from Martin and other residents to the managers of Bishop.

On Sunday, Bishop Rehabilitation and Nursing confirmed the air conditioning stopped working for 6 hours on Saturday, June 26. A spokesperson said temperatures were monitored throughout the down period and remained within regulatory guidelines. He also said resident rooms remained largely unaffected by the outage.

However, new information on Monday confirms the power supply for a chilling unit in one of the buildings is broken. It stopped working 20 days ago on June 8.

Residents like Nancy Martin are worried about living in the building through a heatwave with on-and-off air conditioning.

“I feel abused,” – Nancy Martin

I woke up at 3:00 a.m. Monday morning and I knew it was off because I felt like I was suffocating. I had to call somebody to come in and take the sheet off me. It’s awful. I feel like I can’t get my breath and I get dizzy and even almost sick to my stomach.

Nancy Martin, Resident, Bishop Rehabilitation and Nursing

In the meantime, a generator is being used to run air conditioning, but only when maintenance workers can supervise it. The spokesperson says a permanent repair is going to be a “little bit of a lengthy process.”

Managers say they’ll make sure the air conditioning is up and running throughout the heatwave, but when the system is going to be permanently repaired is still unknown.

“I don’t even know the words to use. It’s unbearable. There has been times where I don’t even know why I bothered coming here,” Martin explained. “Was I better to stay at home and let nature take its course when I got sick?”

Read the full statement from Bishop Rehabilitation and Nursing…

On June 8 the power supply for one of the chilling units in one of the buildings failed. The next day we brought in a generator to power the unit to restore air conditioning. Due to the size and age of the building the repair is a bit of a lengthy process. The generator requires maintenance professionals present while its running. The maintenance team has personnel round the clock during these extreme heat days to ensure the system is running full time. Temperatures are continuously monitored to ensure they remain within regulatory guidelines. The system is currently up and running!

Jason Newman, Spokesperson

Bishop took over the James Square Nursing Home. In April 2021, a class action lawsuit was settled for more than $5 million dollars for previous neglect of residents.

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