Articles Posted in Nursing Home Negligence

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)

nursing home abuse

Nursing Homes Often Use These Common Defenses When Accused of Abuse and Neglect

The nursing home abuse and neglect attorneys at Levin & Perconti have nearly three decades of experience in defending residents who have had their rights violated and become injured while under the care of others. Through our work we have been able to identify the many common ways nursing homes will attempt to defend themselves even when guilty of obvious wrongdoings which created harm to an already vulnerable individual. These injuries can range from physical and sexual abuse to careless neglect stemmed from medication mismanagement, poor hygiene, haphazard slips and falls, untreated bedsores, malnourishment and dehydration. These injuries can quickly become deadly when not discovered soon enough and are typically created by nursing home operators who make greedy choices that put patients at risk. Some of those common actions include:

  • Reducing or underreporting staffing levels

nursing home reform

Latest Senate Hearing Shows CMS Can Do More to Protect Nursing Home Residents

On Wednesday, March 6, 2019 another government session, this time led by the US Senate Committee on Finance, was held to discuss several disturbing reports of nursing home abuse and neglect and the lack of preventative measures and faulty reporting system used by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to create environments for quality resident care. The hearing was led by Chairman, Chuck Grassley (R – IA) and Ranking Member, Ron Wyden (D – OR) with special panelist testimony delivered by family members of residents fallen victim to nursing home abuse or neglect.

A Minnesota woman heartbreakingly remembered her mother, an Alzheimer’s patient who was raped by care staff. During the hearing she said, “My final memories of my mother’s life now include watching her bang uncontrollably on her private parts for days after the rape, with tears rolling down her eyes, apparently trying to tell me what had been done to her but unable to speak due to her disease.” A woman from Iowa shared her family’s concern after their mother died in a nursing home ranked with the highest possible quality of resident care scores from CMS even though the organization had been seriously fined for physical and verbal abuse. The elderly woman was allegedly left in severe pain and may have been dehydrated days before her nursing home death.

types of strokes

Nursing Homes Are Not Always Equipped to Recover Stroke Patients

2016 recommendations from the American Stroke Association (ASA) still stand true in 2019. If someone living in a nursing home has a stroke, they should be treated in an inpatient rehabilitation facility, rather than remain in the home. The resident may need intensive, multidisciplinary treatment and initial rehabilitation should take place in a specialized care facility equipped with the appropriate care staff. The ASA recommendations go on further to say that the “patient should participate in at least three hours of rehabilitation a day from physical therapists, occupational therapists, and speech therapists.” Since nurses are continuously available and doctors visit more often than at nursing homes, any form of recovery will be faster than if the patient remains under previous nursing home care.

6 Types of Stroke

nursing home neglect

The Most Important Way to Reduce Complications from Pressure Ulcers Is by Preventing Them

A pressure ulcer, also known as a bed sore, a pressure sore or a decubitus ulcer, may not appear serious at first. The open wound often begins with small red marks on areas of the skin that are in continuous contact with surfaces such as bed linens. Sadly, they are one of most common and preventable injuries that occur in nursing homes and can actually serve as a serious warning signal of nursing home neglect. The sore will almost always make itself known but when the discovery of it gets to this stage it can be a sad situation for any family member to be informed of. By this time, the sore has usually broken down so much skin that the underlying tissue, sometimes bone, is now exposed. These injuries are sure to reveal a larger scope of care issues impacting your loved one’s health. When not taken care of or treated with the medical attention required, pressure sores can lead to severe infection, a general decline in overall health, unnecessary emotional anguish and painful discomfort, and even death.

Questions to Ask If Your Loved One Has a Pressure Ulcer

On Wednesday, the United States Senate Committee on Finance held a public hearing entitled “Not Forgotten: Protecting Americans From Abuse and Neglect in Nursing Homes.” The hearing included statements from adult children of nursing home residents who were the victims of rape, abuse, and neglect at the hands of their caretakers.

Letter Describes How Recent Government Actions Endanger Nursing Home Residents

Prior to the hearing, six long term care advocacy organizations banded together to send a letter to the Senate Committee on Finance to remind them of the government’s recent actions that have scaled back protections for those in nursing homes.

nursing home news

New Administrator Hired for DeKalb County Rehab and Nursing Center

The DeKalb County Rehab and Nursing Center now has a permanent administrator after more than five months of operating under interim leadership. According to a report published on February 20 in The DeKalb Daily Chronicle, the county nursing home’s operating board recently voted, 7-0, to approve Cheryl Vittorio of Elgin as the new administrator. Vittorio was previously the interim administrator of another nursing home and rehabilitation facility in Jacksonville, Illinois. Jeff Whelan, DeKalb County Board member and chairman of the DeKalb County Rehab and Nursing Center Operating Board, said her base pay will be $112,000 a year and increase after a six-month probationary period. The previous administrator was no longer employed at the facility as of September 19 when the board found that leadership responsibilities fell short on many situations.

Prior to the administrator’s departure, the facility was fined a Type “A” violation in total of $25,000 after a patient fell and was seriously injured when improperly moved to a bed, according to a quarterly report from the Illinois Department of Public Health. A Type “A” violation pertains to an incident in which there is a substantial probability that death or serious mental or physical harm will result, or has resulted. DeKalb County Rehab and Nursing Center is a large facility with 190 beds and has county ownership. It is located in DeKalb, Illinois and participates in Medicare and Medicaid programs.

nursing home abuse and neglect

Leaders Say Rural Nursing Homes Face Accelerating Problems

At the close of 2018, the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) reported that the fastest growing older population group in the state is age 85 and older. DCEO also projected the 85+ age group will total 402,311 people, an increase of 109 percent, by 2030. And for the geriatric population living in the state’s 62 non-metropolitan and rural counties, current growing health care challenges will create much larger eruptions of a sicker and more underserved group of older adults left to rely on limited health care services, nursing homes included.

The issue starts with an already health disparate elderly population living in rural Illinois areas who will remain dependent on small hospitals that may not provide vital geriatric services, proper diagnosis and treatment plans. Small communities that offer fewer aging support facilities such as long-term care housing, nursing homes, and assisted living centers will also contribute to the struggle as well as minimal access to quality trained, well-paid nursing home care staff. Our Illinois nursing home neglect lawyers continue to work on many cases where understaffing and poorly paid staff created an easy environment for residents to become neglected, abused or mistreated, especially in rural communities.

nursing home drug dangers

Elder Justice Coalition Links Nursing Home Abuse and Opioid Abuse

With an opioid epidemic in our country that is beyond alerting, it remains evident that the 2017 guidelines The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) set forth for managing chronic pain with caution against opioid use are not being followed. The CDC continues to warn that the benefits for improving pain and function through dangerous opioids must outweigh the risks when prescribing and administering the drugs. One group of Americans persistently impacted by the mismanagement of opioids is the nursing home population.

The nonpartisan Elder Justice Coalition (EJC) recently met with the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Assistant Secretary for Health and Senior Advisor for Opioid Policy, Admiral Brett Giroir in response to the opioid crisis. Assistant Secretary for Aging and Administrator of the Administration for Community Living (ACL), Lance Robertson and leadership of the National Adult Protective Services Association (NAPSA) were also present. EJC National Coordinator Bob Blancato released this statement recapping the meeting in a January 23, 2019 EJC press release.

nursing home attorneys

Unsafe Medication Practices Play Harmful Role in Feeding Tube Errors

Feeding tube related neglect ranks high as one of the many care issues occurring throughout U.S. nursing homes today. Many facilities fail to commit the time and staffing to allow for extra nutritional care such as hand-feeding. There is also a temptation to overuse the tubes simply for facility cost-savings, regardless of the resident’s best interest. The Institute for Safe Medication Practices reports nearly one-third of nursing home residents with advanced cognitive impairments, such as dementia, receive their daily nutrients and medications through feeding tubes. Unfortunately, those familiar with basic elder abuse scenarios understand that residents with mental impairments and those who require extra care with daily activities such as feeding, grooming, and using the bathroom are always far more likely to fall victim to neglect.

Most feeding tubes are inserted during an acute-care hospitalization and remain in use after a discharge. But feeding tubes can cause serious patient harm including infections like pressure sores, depression, and death if not necessary or handled with the specialized care required to keep them clean and in proper use. One underreported hazard of these tubes occurs during the preparation or administering of daily medications. As noted by Joseph Boullata, PharmD, BCNSP, in an article published by the National Institutes of Health titled, “Drug Administration Through an Enteral Feeding Tube,” these four common errors can occur while administering drugs via feeding tube.

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