Articles Tagged with illinois nursing home attorneys

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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.

post stroke recovery

Nursing Home Residents Require Additional Rehabilitative Care After Suffering from a Stroke

If someone living in a nursing home has a stroke, they should be treated in an inpatient rehabilitation facility rather than remain in the nursing home. The resident may need intensive, multidisciplinary treatment, and initial rehabilitation should take place in a facility equipped with the appropriate care staff. Advanced specialty care is especially needed if negligent nursing home workers missed the early signs of stroke in a resident, causing a delay in treatment. The National Institute of Neurological Disorders explains the types of strokes most common to nursing home patients.

  1. Cerebral Hemorrhage: Caused by the sudden rupture of an artery in the brain, blood spills out and compresses brain structures. Approximately 20% of strokes are caused by bleeding. Preventable falls may be behind a cerebral hemorrhage.

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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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