In 2008, the New York State Department of Health ordered the closure of Monticello Manor, an adult home located upstate in Sullivan County. Health inspectors found several violations in the for-profit home, housed in a former hospital building, and ordered that all of the residents be evacuated within 24 hours.
Safety violations included roof leaks that caused ceilings to partially collapse, peeling plaster walls, rusting steel supports, mold and bed bugs. The operator of Monticello Manor, Charles Benson, owned an additional nursing home located about 30 miles away in Roscoe, New York. The DOH order barred Benson from moving any Monticello patients to Roscoe Manor, which he closed voluntarily in 2009. But Roscoe Manor wasn’t much better than Monticello—that home was cited for 149 violations of its own since 2001, and left unsupervised, two patients wandered away and died.
Considering the shape it was in when it closed, I’m surprised that anything remained of Monticello Manor when we visited last year (despite my paralyzing fear of bed bugs). It was definitely one of the more structurally unstable buildings that I’ve ever explored, and the area appears to be frequently patrolled by the police.
Without knowing it at the time, we also visited Roscoe Manor (after exploring the Dundas Castle nearby) but that building was in even worse condition—the floor was partially collapsed so we just peeked in a window and left. The horrible conditions discovered in both homes are probably far too common—especially in for-profit care institutions—and I can only hope that the remaining residents eventually found the peace and safety they deserved.