April 25, 2008 – Yountville, CA — A state audit has found that the nation’s oldest veterans home is suffering from chronic staff shortages and poor maintenance of medical equipment.
The 124-year-old veterans home in Yountville houses about 1,100 veterans.
The Northern California facility was audited after residents complained to state Sen. Patricia Wiggins, a Democrat from Santa Rosa. Among the problems they cited were dirty floors and a resident who had to wait in bed for two hours before a nurse came to clean him.
Auditors said the home has trouble filling vacancies because of low salaries, forcing some nurses to work substantial overtime.
The audit also said the state Department of Veterans Affairs needs to improve its oversight.
Department spokesman J.P. Tremblay said the audit uncovered no problems with the quality of care at the home. He said the department is working to solve staffing and budget problems.