Better Training will Help Reduce Falls

Part Three of the Minneapolis-Star Tribune’s fall expose discussed how more staffing will be able to help reduce falls. In today’s nursing homes inadequate staffing is a common complaint from employees, industry watchers and families with loved ones in nursing homes. More than 1,000 residents from a state suffered fall-related deaths in nursing homes from 2002 to 2008. One sociologist who has done numerous studies on nursing home staffing believes that inadequate staffing and falls are completely related. This is especially true at night, when nursing home residents are up yet the facilities are short staffed. Also, nursing home aides are paid such small salaries that do not attract more workers. State inspectors need to cite nursing homes for short staffing in order to change this nursing home epidemic. To read the final part of the fall expose, please click the link.

Nursing Home Sanctions are Not Tough Enough

Part 2 of the Minneapolis Star Tribune fall exposé discussed how the current sanctions nursing homes receive after falls are not enough to deter the nursing home negligence. One 85-year-old woman had osteoporosis so severe that she couldn’t get out of bed by herself. However, when an aide turned away momentarily while using a mechanical lift to maneuver her from the bed to the wheelchair, the victim slipped from the device’s sling to the floor. This caused her to break her shoulder and thigh. An investigation revealed that the woman died from nursing home neglect. The aide had violated the home’s guidelines requiring two people to perform lifts and that the nursing home had not properly trained their staff. In one state only there were 17 cases were residents were seriously injured or died after falling out of lifts. However, only four of these nursing homes received fines. Nursing homes must receive fines after fall deaths in order so that these do not occur. To check out the second part of the fall expose, please click the link.

State Takes Action on Local Nursing Home

A nursing home was fined and an employee fired after nursing home negligence. The nursing home admitted a quality of care violation and agreed to pay a $2,000 fine to settle a case related to an inspection of the facility and its records. The quality of care problem involved harm to a resident whose slow transit constipation was not well managed. The resident was hospitalized according to the inspection report. The inspection also cited other problems that didn’t result in actual harm such as treatment of pressure sores and toileting care. To read more about the nursing home fines, please click the link.

Patient Breaks Hip Despite Sounding Alarms

The Minneapolis Star Tribune published a three part story exposing the great amount of falls taking place at nursing homes. In one instance, despite a bed alarm and other safeguards, an 89 year old woman got up undetected, fell and broke her hip. The victim died five days later. The nursing home had put up a lot of safeguards, such as a bed alarm, a motion sensor, a sound monitor and a perimeter mattress, so that she might not fall. However, still in the middle of the night she got up and walked. The alarm sounded and nobody heard them. She moved a trash can into the hallway and took a bad fall. There was no one at the nurse’s station to hear the alarms go off. Eventually, the nurse heard the victim yelling and the alarms screeching. She was lying on the floor with a broken right hip. The woman never recovered from the fall. To read more about the fall expose, please click the link.

The November NCCNHR Gazette is Ready to Read

The National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care has issued their November Gazette newsletter. This is a great resource for nursing home advocates and ombudsmen. It highlights recent legislation and current issues in nursing home health care. To read the November issue, please click the link.

Nursing Home Tries to Dump Patient at Shelter

A daughter got a call out of the blue stating that her mother’s insurance ran out and the nursing home was releasing their mother. The woman had suffered a stroke and was paralyzed. However, the nursing home would not give her daughter a few days to find a nursing home for her. They loaded her up until a van and drove her to a homeless shelter. The victim was in tears after the nursing home negligence. An employee at the nursing home could immediately tell that the victim needed hospital care. The nursing home was given a two out of a five star rating. Dropping patients has become a common form of nursing home abuse. In order to learn more about the nursing home negligence, please click the link.

Nursing Home Law Discussed at Hearing

Legal experts explained that the mental health code which does not allow felons to be mixed with mentally ill people and seniors applies to nursing homes; however it seems to not be enforced. Currently, there are two separate sets of state laws regarding nursing homes and the mentally ill. These have caused confusion about how to treat individuals. For example, under state law, voluntary nursing home residents may leave whenever they want, yet if they are seriously mentally ill, the situation becomes more complicated. Illinois relies more heavily than any other state on nursing homes to house psychiatric patients. There are often time legal problems with placing the individuals in Illinois nursing homes. This news game at the fourth hearing held since the Chicago Tribune investigation that found nursing home abuse that went so far as death. The panel will submit a report concerning nursing home negligence by January 31, 2010. To learn more about the legal discrepancies, please click the link.

Registered Sex Offender Groped Mentally Impaired Woman in Toluca Nursing Home

Contrary to a nursing home’s assurance that a registered sex offender presented no recent problems, a newly obtained government report and interviews show that the man allegedly groped a mentally impaired woman at the facility. According to Department of Public Health, the Asta Care Center of Toluca in central Illinois failed to fully investigate the incident, implement an appropriate care plan for the sexual predator, or properly monitor him to protect others. Even the nursing home’s attorney acknowledged to the Chicago Tribune that administrators erred in not interviewing the female about the alleged sexual abuse, as is required by law. The perpetrator is alleged to have molested female residents in two prior incidents at the Asta Toluca nursing home and their sister facility in Bloomington. The perpetrator was moved back to the Toluca this summer and given a state assessment calling him a “high risk” of danger to others. Failing to monitor residents is being a common form of nursing home negligence in Illinois. To read more about the compromised care investigation, please click the link.

New Website Creates Custom Reports on Long-Term Healthcare

LTCFocUS.org provides data on nursing home care in the United States. The website hopes to allow researchers to trace relationships between state policies, local market forces and the quality of long-termcare and enable policymakers to craft state and local guidelines that promote quality care for seniors. Users can create charts to compare nursing homes. This is a useful tool for anyone looking for an Illinois nursing home and hopes to ensure quality care. To begin comparing nursing homes, please click the link.

Lack of Social Engagement Becomes a Risk Factor for Older Adults

A study by Rush University Medical Center found that seniors who neglect themselves tend to be individuals with limited social networks and little social engagement. The study is the largest epidemiological study to date examining a wide range of sociodemographic, health-related and psychosocial characteristics associated with elder self-neglect. This is extremely important because reports of self-neglect to social service agencies are rising. Elder self-neglect is defined by the National Centers on Elder Abuse as “the behavior of an elderly person that threatens his/her own health and safety.” Twice as many women as men and more than seven times the number of African Americans as whites were reported for self-neglect. Professionals who work with the elderly need to be mindful not just of their patients’ health profile, but also of their social well-being, a factor that may put them at risk of self-neglect. To learn how to detect self-neglect, please click the link.

Evergreen Health Care Center, Evergreen Park, IL

Evergreen Health Care Center received notice on August 24, 2009 that the home received a $10,000 fine and a Type A Violation from the Illinois Department of Public Health. The nursing home failed to provide oxygen treatment for a resident with declining low oxygen saturation and shortness of breath and did not notify the resident’s doctor of her change in condition. As a result of the nursing home’s failures, the resident died of respiratory arrest.

Nursing Home Leaves Resident Out in the Cold

A woman says her father was evicted and abandoned by his nursing home and left outdoors for hours. The man was sitting on his front porch when a neighbor noticed him. The neighbor says a nursing home van dropped him off at his ex-wife’s home, but nobody was present at the time. The daughter claims that her father is very weak and may have fallen while walking unassisted. She is filing a compliant with the state concerning the nursing home negligence. To learn more about the nursing home abuse, please click the link.

Illinois Nursing Homes House Unregistered Sex Offenders

Under Illinois law, families researching nursing homes are directed to search a state police Web site for critical information about sex offenders living in the nursing home. However, with only 59 of the 192 sex offenders in Illinois nursing homes listed on that registry, the research may be frivolous. The Chicago Tribune reported that the shortfall is most visible in Chicago nursing homes where fewer than one in five sex offenders in nursing homes were posted on the police Web site. The problem occurs because of a specific gap in the law. Although some sex offenders can remain dangerous for decades if unmonitored and untreated, many are no longer required to register with police if their convictions or final parole dates occurred more than 10 years ago. Also, state investigators have documented more than a dozen instances since 2007 in which nursing homes have failed to notify local law enforcement that they housed a convicted sex offender as required by law, or failed to implement care plans to monitor and treat sex offenders inside the facilities. The greatest problem occurs when the sex offenders physically abuse the nursing home residents. Last year, state health inspectors cited the Asta Care Center of Elgin for failing to inform authorities of a sexual predator. An 80 year old sex offender was not closely monitored in Asta Care Center in Bloomington. To read more about sex offenders in nursing homes, please click the link.

Clearbrook East, Rolling Meadows,IL

Clearbrook East nursing home received notice of a $20,000 fine and a Type A violation on September 30, 2009. After reviewing the nursing home’s records, the Illinois Department of Public Health determined that the nursing home failed to ensure that a resident received her seizure medicine as ordered by her doctor. The violation report states that the nursing home failed to administer the resident’s seizure medication to her and failed to notify the her doctor that she did not receive her medicine.

Nursing Home Administers Drug that Causes Woman’s Skin to Peel Off

A woman wrongfully died at a nursing home after employees administered her a drug that caused more than half of her skin to peel off. The woman filed a nursing negligence lawsuit against 17 defendants, whom she blames for repeatedly giving the victim a drug that caused her to experience a severe allergic reaction. The lawsuit claims that the nurses should have known of the victim’s allegories, including her allergy to sulfa drugs, but failed to include her allegories on an admission and assessment form. They administered the drug to treat bronchitis and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. However, the nursing home lawsuit claims that it was a direct and proximate result of that negligent act that caused the victim to develop multiple large open areas in the skin. Also portions of her skin were sloughed off and she developed red blistering. This caused extreme pain and suffering and she was admitted to a burn unit where she died. To read more from the nursing home lawsuit, please click the link.

Nursing Home Fined $90K in Man’s Death

A nursing home is facing a stiff penalty after state investigators found the facility did not adequately protect a 92-year-old resident from a fatal fall. The 120-bed nursing home received a “AA” citation and a $90,000 fine for the 2007 death of a resident. The state said the death certificate listed the victim’s cause of death as accident from falling down on his head in the bathroom. Falls are a common form of nursing home abuse. To read about the nursing home citation, please click the link.

Chateau Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, Willowbrook, IL

On July 24, 2009, the Chateau Nursing Center in Willowbrook received notice of a Type A violation and fine of $20,000. The violation report from the Illinois Department of Public Health notes that the nursing home did not properly supervise a male resident who had previously exhibited inappropriate sexual behavior. Nursing home staff later discovered that he had sexually abused a female resident by having non-consensual sex with her.

Is Nursing Home Staff Retention and Resident Longevity Related?

One nursing home has five residents over the age of 100 who have all lived in the same nursing home for several years. What do they have in common? All of the residents were assisted by employees that worked at the nursing home for 20 years. Turnover and the impact on residents in nursing homes have been greatly researched. One study found that when there is a loss of administrator there are increasing pressure ulcers, resident catheters and the use of psychoactive drugs. There are also more deficiencies and citations. This could occur because when the administrator leaves the normal turnover of staff doubles. The turnover for administrators in assisted living facilities ranges from 43%-70% annually. This results in increasing workloads for the remaining staff. It is evident that turnover weakens nursing homes and affects residents. In order to keep staff longevity staff must value their relationships. This will obviously help decrease nursing home negligence. To see the full results of the study, please click the link.

Nursing Home Penalized After Woman’s Suicide

A woman’s son is still filled with question about his elderly mother’s death at a nursing home and state officials found reason to penalize the facility for its care of her. The medical examiner’s office ruled the woman’s death a suicide after she fell through her third-floor window. The 89-year-old had entered the facility with a variety of ailments, ranging from heart problems and glaucoma to dementia and depression. The facility has now been downgraded to a provisional license because it did not do enough to prevent the woman’s death. State officials found that five days before the woman’s death, the victim attempted to exit the facility via the stairs in a wheelchair and had expressed a desire to jump out the window. However, there was no record that the staff made a responsible physician aware of the patient’s intent, or that it developed measures to protect the resident and to prevent injuries. Nursing homes must monitor all attempts at suicide in order to avoid nursing home negligence. To read more about the nursing home penalties, please click the link.

Ballard Nursing Home, Chicago

The Chicago nursing home received a Type A Violation and notice of a $30,000 fine on July 31, 2009. The nursing home did not properly place a resident’s tracheostomy tube and did not reevaluate the position of the tube or notify the resident’s physician. Because of these failures, the resident did not receive oxygen and died from respiratory failure. The Ballard Nursing Home violation report can be accessed by clicking on the link.

An Ex-Employee at Putnam County Nursing Home Alleges Drug Violations

A former employee at a nursing home has filed a nursing home lawsuit against the Putnam County assisted-living facility for allegedly overlooking alcohol and substance abuse by its employees. This is an Illinois facility. She also alleges that they ignored state regulations for drug distributions. She alleges that she was ostracized and lost her job because of several complaints she brought to the nursing home director about drug abuse and employee conduct. The employee states that when she was hired staff members did not follow state regulations for drug distribution. She observed one staff member under the influence of narcotics and noticed that this employee falsified patient charts, reflecting drugs that she did not administer. Properly documenting narcotic distribution is important to nursing homes. By failing to do so, these nursing homes are committing nursing home negligence. To read more about the nursing home negligence, please click the link.

Columbus Park Nursing & Rehabilitation Center Guilty of Nursing Home Abuse

Illinois state authorities are investigating the murder of a 72-year-old man by a psychotic felon residing in at the Columbus Park Nursing & Rehabilitation Center in Chicago. The aggressor, Nauden, has a history of drug convictions and aggressive behavior. He is being charged with attempted first degree murder and aggravated battery of a senior citizen; however prosecutors are looking to upgrade the charges after the victim died. The alleged beating at the Columbus Park nursing home is emblematic of the volatile mix at some Illinois nursing homes. The victim was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder and dementia. On Aug. 21the aggressor awoke in his room to find the victim eating off his lunch try. Nauden then tossed a glass of water in the victim’s face and began punching him. The victim then slumped into his wheelchair, unconscious and “bleeding, profusely,” from one eye. He went to the hospital and was put on a ventilator and died weeks later from the effects of the assault. Columbus Park employees had documented the aggressor’s history of “violent, aggressive behaviors” yet the nursing home neglected to protect the residents. Roughly a quarter of the 186-patient facility’s residents have a primary diagnosis of mental illness and almost half are felons. Only one other Chicago nursing home had more reports of assault, battery or sexual assault inside the facility. Illinois relies on nursing facilities to house felons and younger mentally ill adults more than any other state. The case is known as one of three resident deaths labeled as potential homicides in Illinois during the last 18 months. To read more about the nursing home negligence, please click the link.

Burnham Health Care, Chicago

A Type A violation and a $50,000 fine notice were issued to Burnham Healthcare by the Illinois Department of Public Health for the beating death of a nursing home resident by two other residents who both had long histories of aggressive behavior. The facility failed to properly monitor this behavior or provide supervision to prevent altercations from occurring. You can read the full report of this IDPH violation against Burnham Health Care by following the link provided.

Ex-Caregiver Gets 4 Years for Stealing

The former caretaker for a 93-year-old retired Springfield, Illinois pathologist has been sentenced to four years in prison and ordered to pay $400,000 in restitution for stealing thousands of dollars from her employer. The 65-year-old criminal was convicted by a jury in September of financial exploitation of the elderly and financial exploitation of a person with a disability. While the caretaker worked for the woman she received “gifts” of thousands of dollars for herself and relatives, used the victim’s money for car repairs and used the money to buy a $43,000 van. She had already obtained the doctor’s power of attorney both for finances and for health care. The judge called the employee the “worst nightmare” for family members who have to depend on someone else to care for an elderly loved one. Financial abuse has become the most common form of elderly abuse. To read more about the Illinois elderly abuse, please click the link.

Dr. Reinstein Received Nearly $500,000 from Antipsychotic Drug’s Manufacturer

Recently the Chicago Tribune wrote a story about a Dr. Reinstein and his overuse of psychotropic drugs in nursing homes. It was further reported that he was working in conjunction with the pharmaceutical giant AstraZenca. The company paid the nursing home doctor $490,000 over a decade to travel the nation promoting its best-selling antipsychotic drug Seroquel. The doctor used the drug on thousands of mentally ill residents in Chicago-area nursing homes. He faced accusations that he overmedicated patients and committed nursing home abuse frequently. However, he continued to promote the drug and produced favorable research for AstraZenca. The doctor found that he could also promote the very serious drug as a weight loss medication. Now the FDA states that the drug is linked to diabetes and weight gain. It is obvious that Dr. Reinstein was committing nursing home abuse for his own personal gain. To read more about the nursing home abuse, please click the link.

Second Sexual Abuse Nursing Home Lawsuit Filed Against LaSalle County Nursing Home

The second nursing home abuse lawsuit to arise from reported sexual abuse at the LaSalle County Nursing Home was filed in LaSalle County Circuit Court in Illinois. This nursing home lawsuit seeks at least $100,000 from the nursing home. The suit alleges that the nursing home allowed a sexually active male resident to have contact with a female resident between Jan. 17 and May 26. The Illinois Department of Public Health said that the male resident molested a number of female residents and was later moved to a psychiatric facility. Another sexual abuse lawsuit has already been filed against LaSalle County Nursing Home. State and federal authorities have fined the county $20,000 stating that the staff at the home did not take steps to prevent the molestations. The staff at a nursing home must be attentive in order to ensure that sexual abuse does not occur within the facility. To read more about the nursing home abuse, please click the link.

Lawmakers Investigate Nursing Home Abuse

Illinois Senators have heard about both civil rights violations and the need for community housing for dangerous people as they begin to explore ways to improve nursing home safety. Illinois state senators co-chaired the joint committee considering ways to correct the problems uncovered by the Chicago Reporter and the Chicago Tribune. One explored attacks on patients by ex-convicts while the other discussed the issue that nursing homes housing African-Americans provide worse care than those housing whites. Michael Gelder, the head of the Nursing Home Safety Task force said that more funding is needed for nursing home safety. Also, more ombudsmen are needed to decrease nursing home abuse. To read more about the Illinois investigation, please click the link.

Alden Wentworth Nursing Home, Chicago

A notice of a $30,000 fine and a Type A violation were issued to Alden Wentworth nursing home for the death of a resident who jumped from a third floor window and died. According to the Illinois Department of Public Health report, the nursing home failed to ensure that the Alzheimer’s/Dementia Unit was staffed with adequate numbers of trained staff and that staff understood methods to control the resident’s wandering behaviors and attempts to elope from the facility. Click on the link to access the report for this Alden Wentworth violation.

Chicago Doctor Gives Risky Drugs to Nursing Home Patients

In Chicago’s Maxwell Manor Nursing Home, one doctor’s patients suffered from side effects so severe that they trembled, hallucinated or lost control of their bladders. Staffers told investigators that so many patients were complaining to Dr. Michael Reinstein about their medication errors that a security guard needed to accompany him on his visits. Additionally, staffers said that Reinstein had induced patients to take powerful antipsychotic drugs with the promise of passes to leave the home. Although the nursing home was shut down in 2000 by Illinois state officials, Reinstein continues to practice. He is one of the most prolific providers of psychiatric care in Chicago nursing homes. He has been accused of overmedicating his mentally ill patients. In 2007, he prescribed various medications to 4,141, including more prescriptions for clozapine than were written by all the doctors in Texas put together. Three patients died under Reinstein’s care of clozapine intoxication. He is currently the defendant in two separate wrongful death lawsuits. In 2003 state health inspectors noted that his patients at Chicago nursing home Westwood Manor were not properly monitored. Many showed apparent clozapine side-effects. This could be due to the powerful incentives Illinois provides for cut-rate, high volume care in nursing homes for the mentally ill. Recently state lawmakers did not act on a bill that would have given psychiatrists the first Medicaid fee increase in years. To read more about the medication errors, please click the link.

Man Files Nursing Home Negligence Suit

A man is suing his former nursing home on allegation of elderly abuse. His friend noticed that while at the nursing home smelled like urine and was without his oxygen. When management was confronted they stated that they were short handed and getting new staff. The victim’s health then declined due to the nursing home negligence. He pulled out his catheter and needed a blood transfusion to save his life. The nursing home negligence lawsuit claims both elderly abuse and insurance fraud. To read more about the nursing home negligence lawsuit, please click the link.

Nursing Home Pharmacy to Pay $112 Million to Settle False Claims Act Cases

The nation’s largest nursing home pharmacy, Omnicare, will pay $98 million and drug manufacturer, IVAX will pay $14 million to resolve allegations that Omnicare engaged in kickback schemes with several parties. A portion of the settlement has been allocated to cover Medicaid program claims by participating states. Omnicare is the nation’s largest pharmacy that specializes in providing drugs to nursing home patients. This settlement resolves allegations that the company solicited or paid a variety of kickbacks. The company allegedly solicited and received kickbacks from a pharmaceutical manufacturer in exchange for agreeing to recommend that physicians prescribe a specific drug to nursing home patients. The kickbacks included data purchase fees, educational grants and fees to attend meetings. Additionally, Omnicare regularly paid kickbacks to nursing homes by providing consultant pharmacist services at rates below the company’s cost and below the fair market value of such services in order to induce the homes to refer their patients to Omnicare for pharmacy services. The Assistant Attorney General stated that the company broke the law to take advantage of our nation’s most vulnerable citizens, the elderly and the poor. To read more about the nursing home kickbacks, please click the link.

Alden Village North Nursing Home, Chicago, IL

Alden Village North, a nursing home in Chicago, was sent a notice on August 31, 2009 of a Type A violation by the Illinois Department of Public Health and a notice of a $35,000 fine. The violation report findings stated that a boy under the nursing home’s care died of sepsis and bowel obstruction. The report states that the nursing home staff failed to provide written documentation including nursing assessments and notifications to his physician despite a change in his condition. Read the full violation report for Alden Village North.

One Nursing Home Patient Received 67 Different Drugs

A scary result of the Omincare drug kickback case is how vulnerable elderly people in nursing homes are to schemes in which drug companies allegedly induce pharmacies to prescribe drugs they otherwise would not. One patient cited by the government’s complaint received 67 different drugs under Omnicare’s reign. The drugs include Cipro, Neurotin, Hearin, Pepcid, Oxycodone and Seroqueol. Omnicare, the country’s largest nursing home pharmacy chain, pain $98 million to settle the case. Also the Wall Street Journal noticed that the government accused Johnson and Johnson of paying kickbacks as well. One single patient received 67 drugs from Omnicare’s pharmacies. It appears that the patients are being “cycled’ through various drug categories. Medication errors are a common form of nursing home abuse. To read more about the pharmacy kickbacks, please click the link.

Woman Sues for Nursing Home Negligence

A woman is suing multiple healthcare companies for elderly negligence and medical malpractice. The nursing home lawsuit claims that the facility is at fault for accelerating the victim’s deterioration in health and physical condition. The lawsuit claims that the elderly woman’s physical and emotional trauma including falls, congestive heart failure, medication diversion and malnutrition were the fault of the nursing home. These injuries caused her to lose her personal dignity and extreme and unnecessary pain, degradation, anguish and unnecessary hospitalizations. The nursing home owed a common law duty to act as a reasonably prudent nursing home and needed to prevent all of the woman’s reasonably foreseeable injuries. To read more about the nursing home negligence, please click the link.

Alden Princeton Rehabilitation and Health Care Center

The Illinois Department of Public Health gave Alden Princeton nursing home in Chicago notice of a Type A violation on July 31, 2009. According to the IDPH report, the nursing home failed to make sure that a resident received dialysis for five days. The nursing home home also failed to report that the resident missed dialysis to the his doctor, putting him at high risk for a fatal condition. Access a copy of the IDPH report on Alden Princeton by following the link.

Illinois State Senate to Hold Hearing on Improving Nursing Home Safety

Illinois state senators will hold a hearing in Chicago to examine different ways to improve safety at Illinois nursing homes where it appears that a high number of felons with mental illness have led to reports of assaults, rape and murder. Legislators will hear testimony from experts, government officials and the public in considering what laws we can strengthen and enforce to better improve nursing home safety. They are also set to discuss what measures could be taken to reverse Illinois’ reliance on nursing homes housing younger adults with mental illness and criminal records. Illinois state senator, Heather Steans stated that she is concerned that the mentally ill are creating safety hazards for Illinois nursing home residents and the community. To read more about the Illinois nursing home hearing, please click the link.

Advocates for Mentally Ill Urge Overhaul of Nursing Home Operations

Advocates for the mentally ill continued to push for a major overhaul of how Illinois’ nursing homes handle psychiatric patients. They argued that the state should end its reliance on nursing homes to house dangerous people cheaply. The mix of felons, mentally ill people and seniors in Illinois facilities serves none of these populations. Due to this dangerous mix, some residents have been assaulted, raped and even murdered. Several speakers urged the Task Force to expand the subsidized housing for people with mental illness. One woman had to move her 39-year-old son to Minnesota to find supported housing for people with schizophrenia. The task force stated that they are at work to address all the issues raised and to decrease nursing home abuse. This has already been the third hearing by the task force to address nursing home abuse. To read more about the nursing home abuse, please click the link.

Woman Uses Power of Attorney to Rip off Elderly Man

A South Pekin, Illinois woman was arrested for allegedly bilking an elderly man out of cars, loans and his pension money. The 38-year-old woman was arrested for financial exploitation of the elderly, forgery and altering titles. In August, the son of an 83-year-old Pekin man called police saying he feared his elderly father had been the victim of financial exploitation by the father’s power of attorney. During the investigation, police learned that the woman had also convinced the victim to maker her his beneficiary at the time of his death. He had been coerced by the woman to take out loans on the homes he owned to help the woman open a business. Financial exploitation has become one of the most common forms of elderly abuse. To read more about the financial exploitation, please click the link.

Illinois Nursing Home Sued for Alleged Sex Abuse

An Ottawa, Illinois man has sued the La Salle County Nursing Home on behalf of a female relative, who he alleges was sexually abused by a former resident at the nursing home. The man filed the seven-count lawsuit in La Salle County Circuit Court seeking at least $250,000 from the nursing home for allegedly failing to protect the woman. The nursing home lawsuit alleges that the victim suffered a fractured pelvic or public bone during the act. The lawsuit also states that the nursing home staff dropped the woman, causing her to break her leg. Sexual abuse at the hands of other residents has become quite common in nursing homes. Nursing homes must monitor all residents carefully and do thorough background checks to ensure that this type of elderly abuse does not occur. To read more about the sexual abuse, please click the link.

Illinois Has Cited Half of Best Nursing Homes for use of Psychotropic Drugs

Half of Illinois’ nursing homes with ratings of four to five stars have been cited at least once sinse 2001 for misusing psychotropic drugs. Some of these nursing home violations have involved injuries and deaths. These findings show that the problem of psychotropic drugs occurs at all kinds of nursing homes. For example, Lake Forest Place is a five-star facility in Illinois. However, in 2003 it was cited for improperly using or monitoring psychotropic drugs given to six residents. One 95-year-old man was given the antipsychotic drug Zyprexa even though he displayed no psychotic behaviors. Another 89-year-old man was on antipsychotic medication without cause and on a sleeping pill at a dosage over recommended limits. Additionally, the five-star Hickory Nursing Pavilion gave a resident double the dosage of her psychotic drug. The state cited the home for increasing the dosage without reason. Deaths involving psychotropics have occurred at the Wauconda HealthCare and Rehabilitation Center and P.A. Peterson Center for Health. To read more about the compromised care, please click the link.