Articles Posted in Nursing Home Staff

Patient and Nurse Struggling

Good and Bad Nursing Homes Struggle with These 6 Issues

Certified skilled nursing facilities in Illinois are required to provide individualized care for residents. That is about 1,300 nursing homes responsible, both for-profit or not-for-profit, set to comply with about 1,500 state and federal standards. Yet violations related to abuse, safety and neglect as outlined by the Nursing Home Care Act occur each day, many undocumented or resolved. And unfortunately, trends in failing to comply can occur at both good and bad facilities.

The nursing home abuse and neglect attorneys at Levin & Perconti continue to identify these six common issues leading to nursing home abuse and neglect cited at facilities located throughout Illinois.

Senior Living and Music

New Study Finds Hopeful Link Between Patients with Dementia and Music

Dementia, a form of Alzheimer’s, is “one of the only top-10 causes of death in the U.S. that cannot be prevented, cured or slowed,” according to the Alzheimer’s Association in Illinois. The majority of individuals diagnosed with dementia symptoms grow to rely on care provided by a nursing home to help manage their daily activities, medications, financial needs, and assist them while residing in a safe environment.

For decades, physicians and families of nursing home residents have fought against the misuse of antipsychotic drugs to treat dementia symptoms rather than look to alternative treatments. Researchers now say findings related to how the human brain responds to a familiar song at super speed could be used to help calm patients battling dementia.

Depositphotos_227594194_l-2015-300x200

Your Holiday Nursing Home Visit Could Be Lifesaving

During the busy holiday season, an already understaffed nursing home care team becomes even more limited, leaving many needs of nursing home residents to go unmet. For the workers who are on staff, they become stressed and easily overwhelmed, creating a rise in the number of incidences of neglect and abuse of residents. This season, we encourage the family and friends of those residing in skilled nursing facilities to make it a priority to visit frequently and unexpectedly check-in on those responsible for providing care. Even a weekly call or stop during this time may be enough to ensure the quality in the services you expect for your mother, father, sister or grandparent is being met.

Unfortunately, even substandard care is sometimes coated, and dangerous abuse and neglect symptoms are hard first to recognize. During your visits, be sure to look for these troublesome signs of maltreatment provided by the Nursing Home Abuse Center. Be sure to report any findings or concerns you have immediately.

Nurse Yelling at Patient

Report Proves Illinois Could Do Better at Investigating Nursing Home Complaints

The Office of Inspector General (OIG) released a report in 2017 that showed several states, including Illinois, were missing the opportunity to lead a timely investigation of the most pressing nursing home complaints. These complaints included neglectful occurrences such as residents being left to sit in their urine and feces for hours, residents being admitted to the hospital because of preventable infections, and inappropriate social media posts by nursing home employees.

According to the OIG, these events will typically fall into two types of serious complaint categories that must be addressed within a specified timeframe.

Poor Nursing Home Care

71 Illinois Nursing Homes Named in Third Quarter Violation Report

The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) has released its Third Quarter Report of Nursing Home Violators for 2019. IDPH is responsible for ensuring nursing homes comply fully with mandatory state regulations. This report dates July 2019 thru September 2019. It highlights 71 Illinois facilities cited for various violations of the Nursing Home Care Act, a statute that provides nursing home residents and their families with the assurance that proper and safe care will be received.

Violations, no matter how small in detail, should be taken seriously, especially since history proves a majority of these facilities will become repeat and more serious offenders. Besides, several of those cited this quarter are large facilities that choose to overwork, underpay, and overburden staff. Leaving these workers with too little of resources and too many residents to care for is a clear sign that abuse and neglect of residents is present.

Elder Woman Struggling

Nursing Home Caregivers Charged with Financial Exploitation of Elderly Resident

Grace Watanabe is a 98-year-old woman who had her life savings robbed of her by two former nursing home caregivers employed at Symphony Residences of Lincoln Park, located at 2437 N. Southport Avenue in Chicago.

Last year, Cook County Public Guardian Charles Golbert, with the aid of Levin & Perconti attorneys Steven Levin and Mike Bonamarte, filed a civil lawsuit accusing the workers of stealing $750,000 from Watanabe while she was residing at Symphony of Lincoln Park from 2009 – 2018. It was her bank that flagged the suspicious account activity.

elderly financial exploitation

Chicago Nursing Home Administrators Fined for Refusing to Help Dementia Patient Robbed by Their Employees

Levin & Perconti attorneys Steven Levin and Mike Bonamarte have been working with Cook County Public Guardian Charles Golbert for nearly a year in representing an elderly woman who had her life savings robbed and justice has still not been served. Grace Watanabe is a 98-year-old nursing home resident with dementia who had $750,000 stolen by her care staff while residing at Symphony of Lincoln Park. Now, a judge has imposed a $400-a-day fine on Symphony executives for their refusal to share any information about the alleged theft.

Any type of stealing or misappropriation of a resident’s money is not only immoral; it typically creates a trail of criminal behavior involving additional acts of financial exploitation. The lack of cooperation and extreme difficultness presented by these administrators sends validation to other nursing homes that it is normal to steal from vulnerable residents. And it could go as far to leave many people wondering if these executives would rather wait in silence for Watanabe to no longer be able to pursue her case than to speak up and take responsibility for not preventing the theft in the first place.

nursing home abuse

Nursing Home Chaplain Agrees to Guilty Plea Deal in Sex Abuse Case

The Good Samaritan Home of Quincy is a place for residents to live independently but also provides environments for assisted living, skilled nursing care, rehabilitation, and dementia care. On Thursday, August 29, a former chaplain of the home James E. Riley, appeared in court to waive his right to a jury trial after a case was opened accusing him of sexually abusing two residents of the nursing home. The victims are ages 88 and 78, and the assaults are said to have happened at the Good Samaritan Home, located at 2130 Harrison Street in Quincy, Illinois, in May of this year.

A negotiated plea of guilty and sentencing hearing is expected to include two counts of criminal sexual abuse, one count of criminal sexual assault, and one count of predatory criminal sexual assault through the use of force.

nursing home abuse

What To Do If You See A Nursing Home Resident’s Rights Being Violated On Social Media 

Nursing home employees are crucial in helping identify violators of the Illinois Nursing Home Care Act, including the reporting of other workers who choose to document these violations on personal Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Snapchat accounts or through private text messages. A recent example of this ‘social showcase of abuse’ came through Levin & Perconti’s representation of a 91-year-old woman who was taunted, and her privacy violated by two care aides formerly employed by Abington of Glenview Nursing Home in Glenview. The workers, Brayan Cortez and Jamie Montesa, taunted Margaret Collins, an elderly resident with dementia and then shared their abusive behavior within their community of followers on Snapchat. It was a former employee – still connected to the workers via the social network – who saw the video and made the right choice to alert the resident’s family of it.

At Levin & Perconti, we recognize and applaud the many overworked and underpaid care workers who ultimately save lives by reporting their co-workers, managers, and even sometimes their friends who choose to disregard the care, privacy, and treatment of nursing home residents in Illinois. But we also know there are many more workers afraid to report these incidents in fear of retaliatory actions made against their careers by the nursing home industry. The Illinois Nursing Home Care Act & Illinois Whistleblower Act protects all workers from retaliation for reporting or threatening to report a violation of the law or regulation concerning the care and privacy of nursing home residents.

nursing home attorneys

Aperion Care Fined After Dementia Resident Was Sexually Assaulted 

The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) has fined an Aperion Care nursing home in Jacksonville $25,000 for an alleged resident-to-resident sexual assault. According to the state agency’s report of Illinois nursing home violators, an investigation found the facility to have failed at adequately assessing and identifying sexual vulnerability and resident-to-resident abuse.

Here is what was found through IDPH’s report:

Lawyer Monthly - Legal Awards Winner
The National Trial Lawyers
Elder Care Matters Alliance
American Association for Justice
Fellow Litigation Counsel of America
Super Lawyers
Contact Information