The News-Tribune posted a story last weekend about recent investigations by the Illinois Department of Public Health after a complaint was filed against an employee at the La Salle County nursing home. Details about the complaint are minimal, because the investigation is ongoing. However, it is known that a certified nursing assistant at the facility is claimed to have committed some act of sexual abuse on a resident.
This is not the first hint of problems at this particular Illinois facility. Over the past two years, the home has experienced other molestation incidents-involving residents abusing other residents. In addition, the financial decisions made by the administrators have been questioned. In one instance the nursing home committee of the county board ignored required processes in state law when bidding on furniture for the facility.
With these recent problems is it no surprise that the La Salle County nursing home has lacked leadership-the previous administrator resigned earlier this month over disagreements about hiring powers. The string of management problems has led many on the La Salle County Board (which governs the nursing home) to look into privatization options.
The repeated problems at this county board institution are a sober reminder that both public and private elder care facilities suffer from abuse and neglect. Our Chicago nursing home lawyers at Levin & Perconti have been involved in legal fights involving abuse in various homes for the elderly. The La Salle example makes clear that nursing home abuse can run rampant in facilities run by governments without clear accountability standards. However, private institutions which seek to make a profit off these facilities are often just as willing to sacrifice the quality of care in order to save on the bottom line. No matter who runs these facilities, the appropriate resources must be expended to ensure that the level of care complies with the law and protects the rights of elderly residents.