Family members voice concerns about nursing home pest problem

(Source: WALB)
(Source: WALB)
WALB is digging deeper into concerns about a pest control issue at the Pinewood Nursing Home in Whigham. (Source: WALB)
WALB is digging deeper into concerns about a pest control issue at the Pinewood Nursing Home in Whigham. (Source: WALB)

WHIGHAM, GA (WALB) - "I'm glad he's in heaven. I prefer him to be in heaven than in that place any day," said Virginia Toombs, sister of a patient.

Strong words from a woman who said her brother was living in horrible conditions at a local nursing home during the last year of his life.

WALB is digging deeper into concerns about a pest control issue at the Pinewood Nursing Home in Whigham.

WALB requested the most recent health inspections and spoke to folks at the facility.

"It was the most disgusting thing I've seen in my whole life," said Toombs.

Roaches everywhere, a sight that will make will make your skin itch.

That's how Toombs describes her brother Jesse Bryant's room at the Pinewood Nursing Home in Whigham.

"Everywhere I tried to sit in the room with my brother who was dying. They were in the bed. My brother was on an oxygen machine and they were crawling on the oxygen machine," said Toombs.

Toombs said she brought it to the attention of some of the staff there who said they were already aware of the issue.

"I said, 'This is disgusting. How can you all even work here?'" said Toombs.

WALB looked at the most recent health inspections done at the Pinewood Nursing Home.

The facility has a 1-star overall rating.

In August of 2015, the Federal Department of Health and Human Services and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services listed on its inspection report that the pest control company revealed to the inspector that the bill was not paid from July 2015 to December 2015 with a total of $1,313.00 owed to the pest control company.

Live roaches were found in two rooms, and dead roaches were found in the conference room.

In the most recent inspection completed five months ago, it details a much bigger problem.

They found bugs on a variety of surfaces on the walls, bulletin boards, and behind toilets.

The pest problem also mentioned rats.

The inspection report details that 'The administrator revealed that the pest control company comes to the facility on a monthly and as-needed basis. She stated to the inspector that she felt as if the pest control program was effective.'

"Your parents in their last days or your family members they need to be in the best of care in their last days and not in a facility where their health is already bad and being infested by roaches and rats just makes it worse," said Toombs.

When we reached out to the facility, their administrator gave us a statement saying "We are not aware of a pest control problem. We have pest control come twice a month. Any issues in the inspections have been taken care of."

Toomb's brother Jesse Bryant passed away last month.

We spoke with another family over the phone who lived out of state.

They have a family member currently in the facility and detailed the same issues to us about the bugs.

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