Earlier this week we reported on the latest move by the Illinois Attorney General’s office to permanently shut down the Bowes Retirement Center. The facility had previously been charged with operation without a license, and several other quality of care violations. Yesterday officially saw the end of the situation, with the filing of an injunctive order by Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan.
The Courier-News explains that this latest move means that the now empty facility will never reopen its doors to new residents-permanently preventing the re-opening of the facility as an unlicensed nursing home.
Problems at Bowes have become well-known over the last two years amid increased attention to repeated health and safety problems at the Chicago nursing home. The violations included neglect of the elderly residents and unsanitary living conditions.
The issues reached a turning point when a state lawsuit charged the facility of operating as a nursing home without a license. Bowes claimed to provide living quarters for independent adults-distinct from nursing homes which provide more direct, intimate care to the residents. The state, however, discovered that the facility was in fact providing several residents with assistance bathing, eating, and taking medications. That hands-on care requires specific state licensing and cannot be performed by a facility that claims to cater only to independent adults.
With the final order, the facility will begin the stages of complete shut-down. A professional liquidation company has already been named caretaker of the property to prevent its destruction by vandals and prepare the location for sale. The Attorney General’s office will also monitor the previous owners of the facility to ensure that they do not open a new facility without a license.
Our Chicago nursing home attorneys at Levin & Perconti are encouraged by the decisive action taken by the Illinois Attorney General’s office in this matter. Every step taken to hold negligent nursing homes accountable for their care is a step in the right direction. Unfortunately, close oversight of all of the thousands of nursing homes is the state is out of the reach of the minimal state regulators charged with the task. True accountability of these facilities requires close observation by friends and family of nursing home members. It is imperative that individuals take the time to report problematic nursing home behaviors and stand up for their right to reasonable nursing home care.
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