We recently posted a story explaining the latest information issued by the federal government regarding nursing homes that have been labeled “Special Focus Facilities” (SFF). The SFF initiative released a list that identified the improvement-or lack thereof-of the facilities participating in this program. The list classifies nursing homes into a variety of categories-improving, not improving, and those no longer participating.
Unfortunately, several Illinois nursing homes made the cut for those deemed to have not improved following efforts to minimize their care deficiencies. These include the Alden Wentworth Rehab and Healthcare Center in Chicago, Embassy Healthcare Center in Wilmington, Rockford Nursing and Rehab Center, and the Virgil Calvert Nursing & Rehab Center in East St. Louis.
A recent post by My Elder Advocate questions the federal commitment to the SFF program. It is noted that only $1 million are advocated for the effort across the entire country. With the huge number of facilities in the program and in need of extra care, that means that only $62 dollars have been spend per nursing home under the program-a paltry 66 cents per resident. Obviously, it’s hard to imagine any major initiatives being launched when such measly resources are invested.
Of course, much of the burden lies with the negligent facilities themselves. Stories continue to roll out of horrific examples of nursing home abuse and negligent at SFF locations. In New Jersey one resident killed another in a scuffle. Similarly, as reported on this blog, a dementia patient in New York killed his roommate with a door. An investigation in the same state led to the arrest of 22 people for resident neglect at a particular troubled facility. All of those homes were listed on the SFF list-but little has been done to fix what is obviously wrong there.
Our Chicago nursing home attorneys at Levin & Perconti encourage all those who care about quality nursing home care to examine the list and advocate for improved resources to enforce higher care standards. All community members should be interested in ensuring safe, productive, fulfilling treatment of vulnerable residents at local nursing homes. Accountability mechanisms like the SFF list aid in that task. Illinois nursing home lawsuits similarly often act as a catalyst ensuring that poor facilities are demanded to change.
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