51 STATE, THE {THE FIFTY-FIRST STATE}: NURSING HOMES (TV)

Summary

One in this series of nightly news programs providing in-depth coverage of issues affecting the New York metropolitan area. This program delves into the inhumane conditions in nursing homes in New York state. The program begins with Irene Jarvis of the New York City Dept. of Social Services, who addresses the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Long Term Care about the poor quality of care in nursing homes. The first half of the program is a black-and-white film that includes interviews with unidentified staff members and a former patient of Peter Cooper Nursing Home, who states that the home resembled a "concentration camp." These individuals recall ghastly atrocities at the Peter Cooper Nursing Home. Topics discussed include the general abandonment of the elderly, the physical abuse of patients imposed by staff members, thievery among the staff, and the treatment of the dying and dead. In addition, a staff member recalls a murder committed by a psychotic patient that could have been prevented if the mentally ill were kept on a different ward from the other patients of the institution. Also included is footage of members of the press and an investigator of New York state nursing homes, Robert Nesoff, who all attempt to enter such places to see the conditions for themselves. Though the program includes footage of nursing home residents, most of these segments simply portray institution directors asking people to leave the premises. During the second half of the program, reporters Robert Sam Anson and Lisa Feiner talk with the director of nursing at Peter Cooper Nursing Home, Gwendolyn Wilform, and with the executive director of the Nursing Home Association, Robert Carr. Wilform attempts to defuse the accusations against Peter Cooper Nursing Home, while Carr attacks the media's general portrayal of nursing homes and explains the purpose of his organization. Carr also shows slides of nursing homes that he feels more accurately represent most of these institutions. In addition, Lisa Feiner reveals her discoveries after having worked undercover at Peter Cooper Nursing Home. At the end of the program, Anson talks with John L. Hess of the New York Times about the comments Carr made, the waste of taxpayers' money, the immunity of the nursing home institution to government regulations, and the Kaplan Report of 1960, which contains documentation from the 1950s of the same dreadful conditions described in this program. In addition, Hess compliments the honest inspectors and auditors whose findings are ignored by the government.

Cataloging of this program has been made possible by Senator Roy M. Goodman.

Details

  • NETWORK: PBS WNET New York, NY
  • DATE: 1975
  • RUNNING TIME: 0:57:28
  • COLOR/B&W: Color
  • CATALOG ID: T:10859
  • GENRE: Public Affairs/Documentaries
  • SUBJECT HEADING: Medical care
  • SERIES RUN: WNET (New York, NY) - TV series, 1972-1976
  • COMMERCIALS:

CREDITS

    • Gordon Hyatt … Executive Producer
    • Dan Chaykin … Producer, Reporter
    • Lisa Feiner … Producer, Reporter, Correspondent
    • Richard Kotuk … Producer, Reporter
    • Ted Ransom … Producer, Reporter
    • Isabella Dane … Producer, Studio Discussions
    • Ortiz, Jr, Eulogio, Ortiz, Jr, Eulogio … Associate Producer
    • Mick Colgan … Director
    • Richard Kotuk … Writer
    • Richard Peaslee … Theme Music by
    • Howard Tuckner … Host, Senior Correspondent
    • Robert Sam Anson … Reporter, Political Correspondent
    • Robert Nesoff
    • Irene Jarvis