Chin said she was aware that a patient had wandered off, but did not know the details.
Asked whether any effort had been made to transfer patients in a less-crowded facility, Chin said she wasn’t sure, but noted that medical centers throughout the city are bulging.
St. John’s Episcopal Hospital, the health system’s flagship facility, had itself taken on 200 evacuated nursing home patients after the storm — an outsized number for a hospital with 257 beds.
Rockaway Care’s administrator, Michael Melnicke, who owns several nursing homes in New York City, did not respond to messages.
New York state’s long-term care ombudsman, Mark Miller, said his office was attempting to get inspectors out to facilities dealing with evacuees.
He said his office already had some concerns about how the evacuations were handled. Initially, he said, operators of some facilities were unreachable, leaving the families of displaced residents in the dark about where relatives had been taken.
It was unclear when residents might be able to return to Belle Harbor Manor, which flooded with several feet of water.
Few if any residents have been able to fetch their possessions since they were rushed out without notice the day after the flood. Some are still spending most days in the clothes they had on when they left, and have to rely on donations from volunteers for changes of socks and underwear. Others have been unable to receive mail.
Rabbi Samuel Aschkenazi, president of the nonprofit company that runs Belle Harbor Manor, told an AP reporter he had been ill and didn’t know what was happening to evacuated residents. He referred questions to another board member, who did not return a phone message.
Belle Harbor Manor resident Miriam Eisenstein-Drachler, a retired teacher in her early 90s, said that after spending three weeks in an emergency shelter inside a former armory, residents were sent to a hotel in Brooklyn’s crime-plagued East New York section, where they were advised not to go outside because of safety concerns.
After weeks of sleeping three to a room, they were informed they would be moving again, to the grounds of the mental hospital.
‘‘The people here are kind. But there is a tone of strictness,’’ said Eisenstein-Drachler, who holds a Ph.D. from Columbia University. ‘‘I consider myself a mentally healthy person. What am I doing here?’’
Constance Brown, a spokeswoman for the Institute for Community Living, the organization that manages Milestone, said that before the storm, the company had been shutting down Milestone and transferring its residents to apartments as part of a shift away from institutional living.
But Brown defended the site as a temporary home for the evacuees, saying they should be back in their former home by mid-January.
‘‘CL Milestone and Belle Harbor Adult Home have residents with similar diagnosis, therefore it is not an inappropriate placement as staff is familiar and trained to deal with this population,’’ she said in an email.
Geoff Lieberman, executive director of the Coalition of Institutionalized Aged and Disabled, an advocacy group, said finding facilities to accept displaced people in a disaster is a challenge.
‘‘There is no one adult home that has anywhere near the capacity that you really need to safely and comfortably accept 100 or 200 other residents,’’ he said.
Lieberman said some have wound up in better settings than others. Residents of the Park Inn Home, a 181-bed residence in Rockaway Park, were transferred to a retreat house in the Riverdale section of the Bronx, on a site overlooking the Hudson River.
‘‘It’s beautiful,’’ he said. ‘‘People are still sleeping in cots. And that’s been hard for everybody. But the food has been good, and I think aside from the fact that they don’t have a bed to sleep on, they have been comfortable.’’