- Published in: Gotham Gazette
George LaRocca Jr. and his dad ran a Brooklyn auto shop together. Even when Alzheimer’s robbed the elder LaRocca of his memories and ability to work, his son brought him to work. But one day his dad wandered off and the younger LaRocca found him near some scrap yards. When LaRocca rolled up in his car, George Sr. said with a laugh, “I don’t know your name but I know you belong to me.”
LaRocca knew his dad needed more care than he or his mother could provide. So they made the difficult decision to admit him to Regeis Care Center, a nursing home in the Bronx with manicured lawns. Their motto: “The Road Back Home Begins with Regeis.”
Within a week at Regeis, his son says, his dad could no longer walk. Less than a year after being admitted on May 15, 2007, LaRocca was dead from a bloodstream infection brought on by severe bedsores. In testimony for a lawsuit brought by his family against the nursing home and later settled, Regeis’ own medical expert testified that antipsychotics given to LaRocca had “predisposed” the 78-year-old man’s skin to break down, which led to the bedsores.