Knox News reported on actions by a state Department of Health following a horrific case of rape which took place in a nursing home. The citations issued to the facility were for two problems–allowing the attack in the first place and then failing to respond properly to prevent similar attacks afterwards. Specifically, the facility was fined $3,000 and new admissions were temporarily suspended.
But that is not all. Federal officials have also stepped in. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) noted that the facility provided a “substandard quality of care.” As a result the facility is being fined $6,000 every day until improvements are made which bring the facility up to par.
The Nursing Home Rape Case
The underlying problem involved an 89-year old woman with dementia. The resident told her family members that earlier this summer she was raped–she did not know the man who attacked her. Obviously the family members immediately told staff members. An examination was conducted and the resident was then transferred to a hospital so that a “rape test’ could be performed. The results indicated a DNA sample from the attacker.
An investigation was opened by police officers, with staff members, family members, and other residents interviewed. No one has yet been charged with anything. The actual resident was, fortunately, moved by the family into a different facility.
The recent state and federal citations and penalties against the facility included a list of allegations against the home. For example, state officials noted that the home did not notify the resident’s actual physician or question male staffers at the home properly. In addition, the resident did not receive proper counseling. Apparently the facility’s social worker did not believe the resident’s story, and so she did not provide actual counseling. Finally, the nursing home did not make any necessary changes after the attack to ensure other residents were protected. In other words, there were no new locks on the doors, more security at entrances or surveillance cameras added.
In response, the facility claims that the safety of their resident is their most important goal and that they believed their improvement steps were adequate. The home also claims that they do not have the resources to add more cameras or increase staffing to provide more oversight.
The canard about lack of resources is quite common following events like this. Unfortunately, in most cases this is nothing more than a stock answer to keep profit levels high while providing substandard care to the senior residents who are counting on them.
Preventing Illinois Nursing Home Abuse
Improper protection of residents at long-term care facilities is something that the lawyers at our firm know well. We’ve worked on similar cases in Chicago and throughout Illinois. Many are surprised at the widespread abuse of residents by other residents, staff members, and even random strangers.
Don’t let this elder abuse or neglect go without recourse in our area without accountability.
At the end of the day, even with state and federal oversight (as seen here), it comes down to family members to identify problems and press for the rights of their senior residents.
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