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Articles Posted in Nursing Home Abuse

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Nursing Home Workers Should Report Social Media Posts That Violate Residents’ Rights

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 and publish these unforgiveable acts on popular social media platforms. If you are aware of any harassing video, photo, story, or mention of resident abuse, invasion of resident privacy, or proof of neglect posted to a social networking site such as TikTok, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat, or through a message, group text, or in an online community, there are several things you can do to report what you have seen.

The nursing home abuse and neglect attorneys at Levin & Perconti strongly encourage you to:

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Illinois Lawmakers Introduce “COVID-19 Safety Net” Bill Until In-Person Visitation Resumes

There have been over 70,000 positive COVID-19 cases in Illinois nursing homes and over 10,300 virus-related deaths since the pandemic began. Sadly, nearly half of the state’s total death count has been nursing home residents. Many were never able to see their loved ones in person or say goodbye to them before they passed as almost all residents and their family members were prevented from visits for some time. Although the pause was likely necessary to prevent the further spread of the highly contagious virus, it also triggered concerns of abuse and neglect going unnoticed and a call from industry advocates to do more.

Most families have been forced to use or purchase personal devices for residents, but the failure to coordinate the calls showed how ill-equipped homes and staff are. Sadly, regular calls are not a reality for most Illinois long-term care residents. For some of the luckier residents, virtual visits were enough to keep their loved ones knowing they are being looked after, especially those with cognitive disabilities such as Alzheimer’s Disease and Parkinson’s disease.

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Report Shows Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs Gravely Affected Resident Exposure to COVID-19 at LaSalle Nursing Home

The Illinois Department of Human Services Office of Inspector General (OIG) has released its investigative report identifying the causes behind the massive COVID-19 outbreak in the fall of 2020 at the state-run veterans’ Home in LaSalle. The long-awaited public report confirms what many of us already know and outlines the unforgiving failures that resulted in the untimely death of 36 people from coronavirus. Notes published by the OIG show that the facility did not implement the proper infection control policies to prevent the spread of the disease among staff and residents and allowed a deadly outbreak to go on despite warnings. 

The report paints a gloomy picture that documents failures from many. It leads with, “Ultimately, our investigation determined that the Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs’ (IDVA) lack of COVID-19 preparation contributed to the scope of the outbreak at the home. In addition, failures in communication at the home and within the IDVA leadership also contributed to a delayed response to the outbreak.”

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New Federal Guidelines Expand Visitation Options in Some Illinois Nursing Homes, Families Should Lookout for Signs of Abuse or Neglect

Although the risk of COVID-19 transmission within nursing homes and other long-term care facilities has been high, related outbreaks and deaths in nursing homes are down, according to a report by The American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living. And with many facilities now operating with residents fully vaccinated, in-person nursing home visits are being allowed at some senior living facilities in Illinois.

According to the updated guidance released on March 10, 2021, from CMS, facilities can now allow responsible indoor visitation for all residents unless specific scenarios arise that would limit visitation options, such as an increase in community infections. The updated CDC’ visitation guidance recommends long-term care facilities follow these specific guidelines:

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2021 Justice in Aging Guide Identifies 25 Ongoing Nursing Home Problems

State-licensed elder care and rehabilitation centers in Illinois may include assisted living facilities, and residential or personal care homes. Unfortunately, hundreds of investigations into these facilities continue to reveal these 25 repetitive problems noted by the Justice in Aging. The organization’s newly published 2021 list points to issues related to relaxed oversight and understaffing workforces, preventable resident injuries, painful and unnecessary evictions, Medicaid complications, dangerous patient abuse and neglect, and irreversible tragedies for families.

Problem #1: Providing Less Care to Medicaid-eligible Residents

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Part 2: Illinois Nursing Homes with High COVID-19 Case Numbers

(Facilities M thru Z)

Not only are elderly groups at a high risk of being infected by — and dying from — the coronavirus, many people linked to nursing homes also die at a higher rate than the general population. At least 152,000 coronavirus deaths have been reported among residents and employees of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities for older adults in the United States since the pandemic began in February 2020. The virus has now infected more than 1,234,000 people at some 31,000 facilities nationwide. And the total number of laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 infections among Illinois residents in all long-term care facilities, not just outbreaks, is 73,286 cases and 9,571 deaths.

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Part 1: Illinois Nursing Homes with High COVID-19 Case Numbers

(Facilities A thru L)

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated 40% of coronavirus deaths nationwide have occurred in long-term care facilities. And numbers show more than half of Illinois COVID-19 infections have occurred at nursing homes, while 43% of all COVID-19 deaths are tied to a long-term care facility. Using Illinois Department of Public Health data (Feb. 9, 2021), the nursing home abuse and neglect attorneys at Levin & Perconti have released the first part of a two-post series listing statewide long-term care facilities (beginning with A thru L). The list includes nursing homes and rehabilitation centers with a reported high number of cases connected to COVID-19 infections, outbreaks, and residents’ deaths since the pandemic began nearly one year ago.

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Nursing Homes Do Not Have a Right to Resident Stimulus Funds

Unfortunately, financial abuse is a common problem in nursing homes across the country, including right here in Illinois. And after thousands of reports to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), we now know that some nursing home facilities and long-term care homes are attempting to take pandemic stimulus payments intended for residents. Residents who rely on Medicaid remain easy and effortless targets even though these facilities have no right to claim residents’ stimulus checks.

The FTC said in a January 4, 2021 statement:

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Levin & Perconti Representing Bloomington Family After COVID-19-Related Nursing Home Death

In May 2020, Bloomington Rehabilitation and Health, located at 1925 South Main Street in Bloomington, was home to a COVID-19 outbreak that resulted in 59 confirmed cases among staff and residents and the death of 11 residents. Levin & Perconti is representing the family of one of those residents. Marlene Cowans-Hill, a 72-year-old woman from Bloomington, was a resident at the long-term care facility when the outbreak occurred.

Levin & Perconti lawyers filed the lawsuit against the facility’s parent company, Petersen Health Care, on November 20, 2020, alleging “gross negligence” related to Cowans-Hill’s lack of attention and care by staff and her untimely death. Her daughter, Anita Martin of Bloomington, is named as the plaintiff in the lawsuit. The 48-page lawsuit alleges the older woman suddenly became sick while living at the long-term care facility and tested positive for COVID-19 just days before she died.

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Common Questions and Answers About COVID-19 Vaccines for Illinois Nursing Home Families

Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), consistent with federal agency standards, recommends residents of long-term care facilities be included among those offered the first supply of COVID-19 vaccines. As a result, the COVID-19 vaccine rollout for residents of long-term care facilities has been occurring in Phase 1A since the distribution began on December 28, 2020. The state has been using the federal government’s nursing home and long-term care vaccination program alongside Walgreens and CVS pharmacies in charge of administering the vaccine to residents.

The state health agency reports Phase 1A is still underway and about 41% of 850,000 health care workers and nursing home residents have received at least one inoculation and nearly 12% getting both doses so far.

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