Articles Tagged with illinois nursing home attorneys

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Ask These Questions Before Choosing a Nursing Home for a Loved One

2020 did its best to reveal the most alarming care deficiencies throughout the country’s nursing homes and skilled nursing facilities. Unfortunately, the pandemic, in some cases, was allowed to target the elderly and nursing home population brutally. While nursing homes and assisted living centers should offer a safe place for your loved one, whether they are your parent, a family member, or a friend who needs guided rehabilitation, you must do the work in choosing the best place on behalf of them. You have the right to ask questions, pull inspection reports, Google the facility, interview staff, read reviews, and have concerns. Because, unfortunately, more than a quarter of all nursing home residents will experience abuse during their residency, and more than half will be neglected.

Start with researching credible online sources, schedule a virtual tour of the facility, or speak with an administrator. Then, be sure to review the following questions to guide your learning about the home’s staffing, environment, and infectious disease outbreaks.

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Regional Ombudsmen Serve as Lifeline for Nursing Home Residents – And So Much More

Under the federal Older Americans Act (OAA), every state must have an Ombudsman Program that addresses complaints and advocates for improvements in the long-term care system. Each state has an Office of the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman (Office), headed by a full-time State Long-Term Care Ombudsman (Ombudsman) who directs the program statewide. Across the Nation, staff and thousands of volunteers are designated by State Ombudsmen as representatives to serve residents directly.

According to the Administration on Aging (AoA)/Administration for Community Living (ACL):

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New Alzheimer’s Drug Could Receive National Coverage Policy, Now Under Medicare Review

On July 12, 2021, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced the opening of a National Coverage Determination (NCD) analysis. The government agency says the process will allow an advanced and careful review to determine whether Medicare will establish a national coverage policy for monoclonal antibodies targeting Alzheimer’s disease. Monoclonal antibodies may prevent beta-amyloid from clumping into plaques or remove beta-amyloid plaques that have formed and help the body clear the beta-amyloid from the brain, found in patients diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.

  • When someone is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s (or dementia), they will require more care, patience, and support as they grow older.

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Harmful Medication Overuse Often First Line of Defense for Managing Behaviorally Challenged Nursing Home Residents

There is excessive and unnecessary use of antipsychotics and psychoactive medications in U.S. nursing homes. These powerful drugs are sometimes given to patients living in long-term care facilities to calm behaviors associated with behavior disruptions and mental health illnesses. Antipsychotics can be so powerful that they sedate residents to the point where they become listless and unresponsive. Residents may be slumped in chairs or unable to get up from bed; they may no longer participate in activities like feeding themselves or engaging in routines they enjoy, or even talk with their loved ones. They are also overly-prescribed to residents who may be marked unruly or disruptive or when staff feel overworked and unable to support and service all residents due to understaffing or high turnover rates. Care teams will seek out specific medications that make patients with these issues easier to handle – or sadly, just to quiet them and make them lethargic and sleepy. Nursing home doctors have also been caught on relying heavily on the recommendation of nurses and other care staff when making these medication decisions.

  • According to the Office of the Inspector General for the Department of Health and Human Services, more than half of atypical antipsychotic medications that affect at least 105,000 nursing home residents annually are being incorrectly paid for by Medicare, despite the drugs being deemed ineffective and potentially dangerous for the elderly population.

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Candida Auris Is an Invasive Fungi That is Spreading in Health Care Settings and Proving to Be Drug-Resistant

On Thursday, July 22, 2021, U.S. health officials presented evidence that an untreatable fungus is now spreading in two Dallas-area hospitals and inside a nursing home located in Washington, D.C. Candida auris is a super bacterium the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) deems an urgent threat. The fungus is extremely difficult to eradicate even with hospital-grade disinfectants and response plans, reminding health care leaders yet again why infection control is so critical in maintaining healthy human populations

Just as awful, commonly used drugs have little effect on abolishing the super fungus. Moreover, a resistant class of drugs, called echinocandins, once considered a last line of defense, is even useless in some cases, allowing Candida auris to spread quickly among healthcare-reliant populations. 

foster health abuse and neglect

Chicago North Side Nursing Home Facing Heavy Accusations of Neglect and Abuse

News reports and interviews with a former Foster Health and Rehabilitation employee reveal just how terrible conditions and resident treatment are at the North Side nursing home. Just days before, reports and a shocking video of abuse shook residents and family members after a 69-year-old man was found neglected and injured at the nursing home, located at 840 W. Foster Avenue in Chicago.

The former employee, Annette Zegarra, recently worked as an office manager for Foster Health and Rehabilitation Center. Zegarra told WGN9 news she knows the abused resident, now identified by family as James Crowder. Mr. Crowder is also a military veteran. A video shows he was found naked on the floor by another resident’s family member visiting the rehabilitation center. In a video, Crowder appeared confused, with a bloody gash on his head and disabled by an injured foot.

the warning signs of bedsores

What You Don’t Know About Bedsores Could Be Hurting Your Loved One

Sadly, painful bedsores are one of the most common and preventable injuries in nursing homes and can serve as a severe warning sign of underlying nursing home neglect. A pressure ulcer, also sometimes called a bedsore, a pressure sore, or even decubitus ulcer, may not appear serious at first in some nursing home residents. The open wound often begins with minor red marks on areas of the skin that are in continuous contact with surfaces such as bed linens. The sore will almost always make itself known thought, but it often too late and can be a sad situation for any family member to be informed of when the discovery of it gets to a dangerous and painful open wound stage. 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 more extensive 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.

Bedsores are serious injuries that can become life-threatening if not treated in a responsible and timely manner. Although alternative therapies to treat bedsores are becoming available, pressure ulcer treatment remains time-consuming for care staff, making understaffed and underequipped facilities commonplace for bedsores to occur.

nursing home dementia signs

How Families Can Help Identify the Early Signs of Memory Loss and Dementia in Loved Ones

Unfortunately, many nursing home workers are not trained to identify the warning signs of declining cognitive abilities. And worrisome activities of a resident with dementia, a form of Alzheimer’s Disease, are too easily missed by overworked and poorly resourced care teams. This leaves many residents struggling due to the extra supervision and management of their daily activities, health and mental wellness, medications, and financial needs. Family members and friends are typically the first to request help after noticing a loved one’s behavioral changes or one or more of the concerning events listed below.

  1. Unable To Carry Conversation

open covid-19 outbreaks chicago nursing homes

120 Cook County Nursing Homes Still Reporting Open COVID-19 Outbreaks in June 2021

Despite the distribution and availability of vaccines, the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) is still reporting over 100 current coronavirus outbreaks involving one or more cases in the past 28 days in Cook County long-term care facilities. The COVID-19 outbreaks include both residents and staff.

This IDPH data is current as of June 18, 2021. All Illinois long-term care facilities are to report confirmed COVID-19 cases to local health departments and provide the most up-to-date data; however, many facilities are known not to report cases promptly and sometimes fail to do so at all.

alzheimer's awareness month

June is Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month, Join Levin & Perconti by Going Purple

Today, more than 6 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s and other dementias. In Illinois, more than 230,000 are battling the disease. When someone is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease, they will require more care, patience, and support as they grow older. The emotional burden and financial costs are overwhelming on those diagnosed, their caregivers, long-term care workers, and even the nation’s health care system. The Alzheimer’s Association reports that in 2021, Alzheimer’s and other dementias will cost the nation $355 billion. And by 2050, costs could rise as high as $1.1 trillion.

As much as 75% of those diagnosed with Alzheimer’s will eventually become entirely dependent on someone else to care for them. At times, this support can only be found in a facility such as a nursing home or memory care center. Unfortunately, our experience has shown us that Alzheimer’s residents can be too easily ignored, abused, or neglected within these homes.

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