Yesterday we shared a story pulled from the latest list of “quarterly violators” as published by the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH). The list is a helpful way for interested local community members to jump into some of the reports by state officials into problematic incidents at assisted living facilities in our state. The sad reality is that incidents like these occur all the time throughout Illinois, and, much of the time, no one ever finds out about it. While state officials working with limited time and resources usually do the best job they can to address violations of quality of care standards, there is simply not enough oversight to ensure most troubling incidents result in significant action. Even then, the power to penalize those who provide substandard care is often limited. That is particuarly true when considering the resources of some of the largest long-term care facilities. A small fine that is fought against for months and often-reduced may have little deterrent effect forcing facilites to enact actual sustained changes that will limit misconduct on the future.
However, that is not to say that these instances of fines and violations aren’t important. At the very least they are a reminder to local community memebrs of the need to be vigiliant about misconduct against the elderly.
All Faith Pavilion Incident
According to the latest IDPH report, the All Faith Pavilion, based in Chicago, received notice of a Type “A” Violation late last spring. That also came with a conditional fine of $25,000. The violations stemmed from the facility’s failure to prevent a mentally and physically impaired resident from being sexually assaulted on at least two occassions over the course of a few months. This sort of violation is particuarly heartbreaking, because it symbolizes the extent to which so many residents are dependent upon caregivers for support and how their vulnerabilities can be taken advantage of in the worst way.
The IDPH report lists a string of problems connected to these instances of nursing home sexual assault. Not only did the facility fail to prevent the multiple attacks, but their response to the incident was haphazard and woefully lacking. In particuar, the nursing home officials did not notify the resident’s phyisican immediately after the incident so that she could receive appropriate care. As a result the resident was denied appropriate medical care for several days. Similarly, they did not properly notify law enforcement officials or state officials. Not unexpectedly considering this track record, the home also did not properly conduct its own investigation into the incident to determine what happened in a timely fashion.
Unfortuantely, this minimal response to serious incidents is indicative of the lack of priority some homes place on rooting out these problems. All too often when something like this happens the first repsonse of the caregivers is not to help those hurt and get to the bottom of the incident but to cover their own backs. Hiding instances of mistreatment and assuming that all mistakes are one-time events is a common theme in nursing home neglect cases. For this reason, it is critical to put constant pressure on these homes until they get the message that none of these incidents are acceptable. If it is beneficial to the facility’s bottom line for them to cover up mistakes, they are more likely to do so. Families must be vigilant about the care their loved ones receive so that faciliites are called out when they fail to act reasonably.
See Our Related Blog Posts:
Quarterly Violators List: Fine Given to Charleston Rehab and Healthcare Center