Articles Posted in Nursing Home Staff

nursing home patients

Majority of Nursing Home Residents Spend Their Time Inactive, Increasing Chances for Chronic Diseases and Injuries

Too many individuals who reside in nursing home facilities are spending their days – sitting. A typical daily schedule for residents will only include light to moderate intensity activities 20 percent of the time and they will remain sedentary the other 80 percent, according to a February 16, 2019 study published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. An extremely sedentary lifestyle, especially for those who are already battling health issues, only creates a stronger connection to the development or progression of chronic diseases and disabling conditions such as:

  • Anxiety

nursing home staffing issues

New Research Points to Music as Easy Form of Resident Therapy

Nursing home staff who make the time and administrators who devote the resources to helping residents recover from an injury or deal with an illness through something as simple as listening to music are on the right track says researchers at John Hopkins University. Leaders at one of the nation’s top-ranked hospitals have started music therapy sessions focused on the unique therapy needs of patients. After several months, staff evaluated the music routines and observed nursing home residents with debilitating memory diseases like Alzheimer’s associate certain music patterns as a cue to perform daily activities such as getting out of bed, eating, and even showering. These are all acts the residents were not able to perform previous to the music therapy.

The music playlists are designed to minimize distraction and increase productivity and played to balance the mind. Johns Hopkins Medicine suggests listening to music does the same thing for a brain as going to the gym does for a body and that listening to music can reduce pain, anxiety, and blood pressure as well as improve mood, ease tension, and increase memory. The movement to music also helps with coordination and increases relaxation.

nursing home fungus infection

Chicago-Area Attorney Steve Levin Comments on Deadly Fungus Outbreak Occurring in Illinois

Both The New York Times and Chicago Tribune recently reported a drug resistant super fungus called Candida auris, is plaguing 50 percent of Chicago-area nursing homes. This is a germ the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has deemed an urgent threat and is tricky to kill even with hospital grade disinfectants. The fungus, which is a yeast, is most noticeably found throughout patient rooms, on the skin of patients, and on daily medical devices such as blood pressure cuffs and medication containers. The most serious cases of infection from the fungus often occur in skilled nursing facilities that care for ventilated patients, or in long-term acute care settings.

“This is unacceptable,” says attorney Steve Levin, founder and senior partner of Levin & Perconti in Chicago. “We don’t know which nursing homes have been impacted yet – and, given the lengths that long-term care facilities’ corporate owners will go to in order to keep secret the dangerous conditions and poor care behind their closed doors – we might never know.”

nursing home nutrition

Why Nursing Homes Fail to Meet the Nutritional Needs of Residents

Illnesses such as diabetes, heart disease, obesity, arthritis, known nutritional or eating deficiencies, disabilities, and mobility issues may result in nursing home residents to put on a specialized dietary plan to fit their exact needs. In these cases, a primary care physician and nutritionist should be consulted and a plan for health and nutritional goals should be created based on an evaluation of the resident’s related illnesses, medications, mouth or swallowing problems, and feeding issues such as tremors.

But even in the trickiest of situations, well-balanced, palatable meals, and fluids must be prepared, coordinated, and tracked by staff responsible for caring for the resident to ensure nutritional health is being met. When it is not, nursing home abuse and neglect may be considered as the cause for cases involving malnutrition or dehydration.

nursing home dementia

7 Risk Factors That Increase Dementia Deaths in Nursing Homes

Unfortunately, dementia, a form of Alzheimer’s, is “one of the only top-10 cause of death in the U.S. that cannot be prevented, cured or slowed,” says the Alzheimer’s Association. A growing majority of these individuals depend on care provided by others to manage their daily activities, medications, financial needs, and to keep them in safe environments and reside in nursing homes.

People with dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease may be elderly, frail, and naturally prone to higher personal injury rates, infection, or falls and be at a higher risk of dying contributed to several known risk factors:

nursing home illness

Illinois Nursing Homes Testing Antimicrobial Wash to Avert Superbug Infections 

Elderly people are an extremely vulnerable group of individuals, some with an already weakened immune system and underlying illnesses. And for those older individuals residing in nursing home facilities, many sharing community spaces housing millions of drug-resistant bacteria also known as superbugs, the risk is even worse. Superbugs are viral infections caused by bacteria that are resistant to common antibiotics and can cause severe infections that are extremely difficult to treat.

That is why some nursing homes in Illinois have started washing patients with a special chlorhexidine soap. The soap is being tested as a way to prevent antibiotic-resistant superbugs that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) say infect at least 2 million people in the U.S. each year and kill 23,000 more. The trial effort is happening in 50 nursing homes in Illinois and California and being funded by $8 million federal dollars.

nursing home attorney

McClean County Nursing Home Residents Transferred After LeRoy Manor Closes

The former long-term care residents of the LeRoy Manor building, located in the central Illinois community of Bloomington-Normal, have moved to other nursing homes throughout Illinois. The private nursing home closed on February 15, 2019, displacing 75 employees and 66 residents. Administrators say about 90 percent of the residents were receiving Medicaid and poor reimbursement by the state was to blame for the closure. The group announced plans to end long-term care services at the home in January of 2019.

Thankfully, regional ombudsman from the East Central Illinois Area Agency on Aging told local news outlets that residents and their family members felt individual rights and desires were protected during the transition and that staff saw the process out appropriately. Unfortunately, this is not always the case and many residents preparing for a move out of their control will find themselves neglected or abused during a time of uncertainty and when changing staffing challenges become present. The move may be tough though for many of the LeRoy Manor residents who were originally from the area and able to stay connected with family and friends on a regular basis. These are relationships important when addressing basic care and medical needs and identifying nursing home neglect and abuse symptoms of loved ones.

nursing home abuse attorneys

Illinois Lawmaker Says Families Should Be Able to Observe Nursing Home Care Provided to Loved Ones with Dementia Through Video Monitoring

Senate Bill 109, a plan sponsored by Illinois Senator Terry Link (D-Indian Creek), passed the state’s Senate in late March in response to multiple complaints received by the Illinois Department of Public Health about abuse, neglect and theft against nursing home residents. The bill was designed to help families of individuals battling dementia and would allow the installation of video and audio monitoring devices in their loved one’s room to deter or detect signs of abuse and neglect. The legislation language specifically speaks to the use of electronic monitoring in patient rooms in a building or care area solely dedicated to dementia residents.

The bill is now on the way to the Illinois House for further debate. It supports a 2015 law that allowed for video and audio monitoring equipment in facilities for individuals with developmental disabilities or those living in long-term care facilities.

nursing home abuse

Illinois Auditor General Report on 2015 Quincy Legionnaires’ Outbreak Reveals Procedures Not Followed and Possible “Cover Up”

On Monday, March 25 the Illinois Auditor General released the state report related to the deadly Legionnaires’ disease outbreak at an Illinois veterans’ home located in Quincy that began on August 21, 2015. The infectious disease crisis carried along for several years and impacted 66 residents and 8 others who tested positive for legionella and resulted in 13 resident deaths which likely could have been prevented. The report contradicted the state’s former administration’s solutions to the outbreak and showed recommendations led by federal authorities to remedy the crisis were not actually followed.

Our legal team has highlighted these key themes found within the state audit report:

nursing home disease control

Hundreds of Illinois Nursing Homes Fail to Control Deadly Diseases

According to the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, 380,000 nursing home residents die each year due to care related infections. Sadly, similar to most nursing home sicknesses and injuries, many of these infections are preventable. In reviewing a report from the Long Term Care Coalition using data collected by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) in December of 2018, hundreds of nursing homes in Illinois received a low care rating for programs that investigate, control and keep infections from spreading. Citations for the last three years reveal more than a dozen of these facilities are housed in Chicago and were given the lowest grade possible, an “F”, in protecting residents from preventable harm, injury, and death related to disease control.

  1. Aperion Care International (4815 South Western Avenue)

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