Turn To Tara: Daughter says heirlooms, photos trashed due to nursing home mix-up

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MAMARONECK -

A grieving daughter Turned To Tara after she says her mother’s cherished heirlooms and irreplaceable photographs were tossed in the trash due to a mix-up at a nursing home.

Frankie Rowland said she and her husband went away for the holidays. On Dec. 31, they got a call from an aide at The New Jewish Home/Sarah Neuman in Mamaroneck informing her that her 94-year-old mother had died.

Rowland said that since they were out of town, they asked what was going to happen to her mother’s belongings. Rowland said the nursing home assured that everything would be packed and kept safely in housekeeping.

“Ultimately, my husband went to pick up the items and he came home with a lamp, two framed pictures and two plants.  I said ‘Where is everything else?'” she said.  

Rowland said she picked up the phone immediately to inquire about her mother’s clothing and items like family photographs. She says the person on the phone told her that a supervisor told them to dispose of the belongings on Dec. 31. 

Rowland says she tried to contact the nursing home by phone to no avail.

In a sharply worded letter dated in February, an administrator reached out to Rowland and accused her of lying and claiming that all of the items were retrieved.

In a statement to News 12, the vice president of public affairs apologized and admitted the letter written by their own administrator was not factually correct.

"We understand the importance of personal belongings. Despite our efforts and intentions, some additional items could not be found and returned, which we deeply regret. We also apologize that a letter sent to Ms. Rowland on February 7 erroneously stated that a Rolodex, linens, clothing and plants had been returned to the family.  In fact, these are missing items,” said Bruce Nathanson, senior vice president of public affairs at The New Jewish Home/Sarah Neuman.

Nathanson said they are reviewing current property return practices to evaluate how the process might be improved.

The nursing home is now offering restitution to Rowland, but she says there’s no amount of money they can give her to replace priceless memories.

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