Madison Castracani spent Thursday’s lunch break protesting outside in the rain. Along with her co-workers at Grand Rehabilitation and Nursing in Guilderland, she was calling on state lawmakers to pass a series of bills that would reform the nursing home industry.
“I think the change, passing this bill, would be great,” Castracani said.
Castracani has been a nurse’s aide for the past four years. Quite often, she says her unit is understaffed.
“You will have 42 residents on one unit, and sometimes it’s just you by yourself,” she said.
She says that makes it nearly impossible to keep up, often resulting in a lower quality of patient care.
“It’s back-breaking, pretty much,” Castracani said. “They fall into a depression if nobody is there. You are sitting there, you are isolated now, especially with COVID, and nobody wants to go through that. And why should they?”
What You Need To Know
- On Thursday afternoon, employees at Grand Rehabilitation and Nursing rallied outside the Guilderland nursing home
- The rally was one of 200 across the state organized by the 1199 Healthcare Workers East union
- The union is pushing for passage of legislation that would require for-profit nursing homes to invest at least 70 percent of their profits back into patient care
The rally in Guilderland was one of 200 across the state organized by the 1199 Healthcare Workers East union. Among the bills they are pushing for is one that would require for-profit nursing home owners to invest at least 70 percent of profits back into patient care.
“I think we got to this point because you’ve got to have patient care over profit,” said Maureen Tomlinson, vice president of the union’s Capital Region chapter. “Unfortunately, some of these for-profit nursing home owners are just not doing what they need to do.”
With better staffing and equipment, Castracani believes she’ll have more time to focus on the things that inspired her to work in the nursing home in the first place.
“Just the thought of helping somebody else and knowing that you can make it better is the best feeling in the world,” she said.