Articles Posted in Nursing Home Abuse

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.

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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:

Chicago News – CBS 2 News at 10:00 covers the story of Margaret Collins.

Nursing home resident Margaret Collins, a 91 year old woman with dementia, was the subject of repeated harassment from two nursing home employees. The upsetting viral video has caused a backlash of anger against elder abuse and an outpouring of support for Margaret Collins and her family.

nursing home snapchat video

Video of Dementia Resident Taunted by Nursing Home Caregivers Was Shared on Social Media 

Levin & Perconti is representing the family of a 91-year-old woman after two of her care aides, formerly employed by Abington of Glenview Nursing Home in Glenview, violated the Illinois Nursing Home Care Act and state privacy laws through abuse and the use of social media. The workers, Brayan Cortez and Jamie Montesa, were caught publishing a Snapchat video of themselves taunting Margaret Collins, an elderly resident with dementia. Snapchat is a multimedia app and popular social media channel used by over 180 million people every day. Each post made is called a “snap.”

The video went public just days before the Christmas holiday in 2018 and showed Collins lying in bed and visibly upset from being taunted by employees throwing a hospital gown at her several times, a clothing item her family says Abington workers knew would make her distressed. The video was captioned with “Margaret hates gowns,” and the “snap” was decorated with two laughing face emojis. A former employee saw the video and shared it with the resident’s family.

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First Came the Record-Setting Award, and Now the Nursing Home Is Paying Legal Fees

On July 18, 2017, a record-setting $4.1M award was won by Levin & Perconti’s legal team of Margaret P. Battersby Black, Steven M. Levin, Susan L. Novosad, Daniel A. Goldfaden and sole practitioner Michael W. Rathsack on behalf of the estate of Dolores Trendel. On June 28, 2019, Justice James Fitzgerald Smith wrote in an unpublished order allowing the estate to recover the cost of litigation from the negligent nursing home at the center of the case – Clare Oaks.

The Nursing Home Care Act requires licensed senior care facilities to pay “the actual damages and costs and attorney’s fees to a faculty resident whose rights … are violated.”

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Nursing Home Resident Physically Harmed by CNA in Freeport

Freeport Police arrested a former certified nursing assistant (CNA) at an Illinois nursing home in Stephenson County after being accused of attacking an elderly resident earlier this year. The 34-year-old aid with a history of being employed by nursing homes is charged with official misconduct and aggravated battery to a senior citizen.

Detectives say the worker, identified as James Spann, put the 73-year-old resident in a chokehold and a headlock while working at Walnut Acres. Walnut Acres is formerly known as the Stephenson County Nursing Center, located at 2946 S. Walnut Rd. in Freeport.

understaffing legislation

Slammed with a New Law and Bigger Fines, Will Illinois’ Nursing Homes Finally Start Providing Enough Care for Residents?

In June 2019, Illinois lawmakers, sparked by a bill sponsored by state Sen. Jacqueline Collins, D-Chicago, passed legislation in support of increasing fines and penalties for nursing homes who are not meeting minimum standards for staffing and also provided $240 million to fill a $649 million projected funding gap between the state and federal government. The Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services will receive $70 million of the newly budgeted state dollars to build-up nurse staffing. The bill also demands better communication between family members of loved ones who reside in nursing homes so they can be informed of staffing challenges that may interrupt or delay the level of care expected.

Several groups and elder organizations supported, endorsed, and pushed the legislation including:

nursing home abuse whistleblower

Skilled Nursing Facility Employees Can Report Abuse and Neglect

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (OIG) reviewed potential abuse and neglect claims of more than 34,820 Medicare beneficiaries who were residing in skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) in 2016 and sent to the emergency room. The OIG released its findings in June of 2019 concluding that about one in five potential cases of abuse of elders or neglect were never reported to state inspection agencies, even though it’s a federal requirement for them to do so.

Here is a closer look at what the OIG report had to say:

resident violence

Nursing Home Blames “Limited Resources” for Multiple Acts of Resident-on-Resident Violence

A facility located in Aurora, Colorado and operated by Renew, First Phoenix-Aurora of Wisconsin, and Peregrine Administration of Colorado is again at the center of a violent resident-on-resident legal case involving a 92-year-old resident who was found beaten by another individual who she shared the facility with. According to reports of the lawsuit, the woman with dementia was sitting in her wheelchair, in a hallway, when the assault occurred and now suffers from anxiety and other recurring medical complications. Attorneys are seeking more than $100,000 in damages for the injured woman and her family.

The victim was failed by staff and administrators who say they don’t have the resources to keep a known violent resident, who continues to harm others, away from those who live there. Many of Renew’s residents are living with Alzheimer’s and dementia and not able to speak up or acknowledge the abuse for themselves and remain dependent on others to keep them safe and protected from such abuse.

nursing home abuse and neglect

CMS Will Publicly Post All Names of Most Concerning Care Facilities

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is reacting to the highly publicized release of U.S. Senators Bob Casey’s (D-PA) and Pat Toomey’s (R-PA) report titled, Families’ and Residents’ Rights to Know: Uncovering Poor Care in America’s Nursing Homes, by announcing it will soon disclose all of the names of care facility candidates in the agency’s Special Focus Facility (SFF) program. SFFs have a “persistent record of poor care” and were previously not available for the public to review. Some lawmakers and resident advocates even called the list a “scary secret” kept from the public to protect nursing home owners and their reputations.

The Pennsylvania lawmakers list included only 400+ facilities, 22 of which are located throughout Illinois, but there are almost 3,000 nursing homes that have a one-star rating on their health inspections, the worst ranking possible. With only 88 SFF program slots funded that likely leaves so many additional poor performing candidates for the program to publicly acknowledge. 

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