WATERBURY, Conn. (WTNH) – The Connecticut Department of Social Services is looking to close the Waterbury Gardens nursing home that’s costing taxpayers $1 million a month to run, according to a report from the state.
The state took over Waterbury Gardens in 2019. At the time, a report from the state said Waterbury Gardens “sustained serious financial losses or failures which jeopardize the health, safety and welfare of the patients under their care.”
The court ordered the state to appoint a receiver to be in charge of operations. The current receiver, Katharine Sacks, submitted a report to the court on July 28 recommending the facility to close.
In the report, Sacks noted a staffing shortage, numerous repairs and mold throughout the building. She said there are currently 27 residents at Waterbury Gardens and operations are costing taxpayers close to $1 million per month to keep the facility open.
The report also notes that Waterbury Gardens lost about $16 million in revenue from October 2019 to September 2022. Sacks said the facility “is not remotely financially viable.”
The decision to close will come from a superior court judge. Residents at nursing home and workers want the facility to stay open.
Hazel Saunders has lived at Waterbury Gardens for a short four months, but she said the facility saved her life. For a year, she bounced around nursing homes in New Jersey, New York and Connecticut and none of them were the right fit.
“Outside of being in pain and not having that recognized, I was tired of being mistreated,” she said.
When she moved to Waterbury Gardens, she said the nurses treated her with respect and many of the other workers and residents have become her family.
Saunders and other residents have been vocal about staying at Waterbury Gardens. She said she’ll fight to keep the place open.
“It’s my family, we are all family here,” she said. “We’ll fight you because we know what we need.”
The New England Health Care Employees Union filed a motion opposing the closure. In a written comment to News 8, Carmen Villanueva, a CNA at Waterbury Gardens for more than 30 years, said the facility can be repaired.
Villanueva said in part, “I’m certain if it’s fixed up and restructured that we could succeed so we can have a lasting impact on the residents, their families, and the community as a whole for years to come.”
News 8 requested a comment from the Connecticut Department of Social Services. A spokesperson said the department cannot comment on pending litigations.