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my relative has coronavirus

Federal Agencies Restrict Nursing Home Visitor Access as Coronavirus Spreads

As of March 10, 2020, there are now more than 1,000 cases of the novel coronavirus in the U.S., according to the state and local health agencies, governments, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Nineteen individuals in Illinois have tested positive for COVID-19. The highly contagious disease which puts the elderly and those with underlying health conditions into respiratory distress, has businesses, schools, and health agencies on heightened alert. Nursing homes especially have been called upon to help prevent the spread of coronavirus. Stricter guidance from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), the American Health Care Association (AHCA), the Illinois Department of Health (IDPH), and the Illinois Health Care Association is rapidly increasing for these facilities.

The most recent updated federal nursing home guidance comes from a memo delivered on March 9, by CMS, the agency in charge of regulating and enforcing care standards for the nation’s long-term care network.

Survey Shows Long-Term Caregivers are in Short Supply
Over the next 20 years, the country will see a surge in the number of older adults who can no longer care for themselves, as will the number of persons diagnosed with dementia. A sizable amount of these two groups are likely to need long-term care services, one being the age 85 and older population — which is expected to double between 2025 and 2040. And a new report from our Midwest neighbors to the north is showing the most grimace future for an ongoing issue we have in Illinois as well. According to a new report based on a survey of long-term care providers in Wisconsin, vacancies for caregivers increased with nearly 1 in 4 openings going unfilled.

“In the future if there continues to be vacancy rates, there may be concerns down the road about the possible closure of some long-term care facilities,” said John Vander Meer, president and CEO of the Wisconsin Health Care Association and the Wisconsin Center for Assisted Living.

Summary of Long-Term Caregiver Survey Results

chronic nursing home problems

New Investigation Shows Continual Lax in Oversight of U.S. Nursing Homes

State-licensed elder facilities in Illinois may include assisted living facilities, residential or personal care homes. Each is supposed to be a place for individuals to go when they are no longer able to care for themselves, require help with daily tasks or a managed medical or physical rehabilitation. Unfortunately, dozens of investigations into these facilities across the county have revealed a repetitive cycle in relaxed state-licensed oversight, understaffing, preventable injuries, dangerous abuse and neglect, and tragic deaths.

The most recent investigation making headlines comes from a partnership between Vermont Public Radio and Seven Days. Seven Days is an alt-weekly publication distributed throughout Vermont. The news sources told the story of 78-year-old Marilyn Kelly, a resident placed in a 13-bed care facility by the name of Our House Too to help manage her dementia. According to the report and interviews by the woman’s children, it only took eight months for a flurry of poor care and neglectful events to arise that ultimately ended in her alleged wrongful death.

preparation for coronavirusAre Illinois Nursing Homes Prepared to Prevent Coronavirus from Spreading?

Sicknesses can quickly spread when people are in closer proximity because viruses loom in the air and on surfaces that are touched and shared. Nursing home residents are often enclosed within shared spaces for eating, socializing and living, making the facilities home to several highly contagious viruses. As U.S. cases of the Wuhan Coronavirus continue to rise, including an elderly couple from Chicago, Illinois, nursing homes should be well-informed and prepared to handle a potential case of an infectious disease outbreak related to the sometimes-deadly respiratory illness.

As of February 5, 2020, the facts about Coronavirus according to news sources and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) include:

huge hospital fine

Aperion Care Racked Up $367,000 in Fines For 2019 Nursing Home Violations

In 2019, one Illinois nursing home chain, branded under the Aperion Care name, was fined nearly $367,000 by the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) in response to failing to correct serious deficiencies in care and safety of its residents. Aperion Care has 35 Illinois facilities, the majority of which have only one-of-five-star ratings by Medicare.

Most recently, Aperion made a $6 million offer to take over Rock Island’s Hope Creek Care Center. But Aperion’s reputation and questionable level of care residents may receive has alarmed both community and county board members. With a quick review through the quarterly violation reports for Illinois nursing facilities, courtesy of IDPH, it easy to identify why these Aperion Care facilities are fined so often, and also validate the concerns of the Rock Island community.

flu injections

5 Ways to Prevent the Flu from Spreading in Illinois Nursing Homes

An estimated 80,000 people across the U.S. died of flu-related illnesses during the 2017-18 flu season, according to the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). And with the flu season well on its way to another deadly peak, reports of the very young and the very old being hit the worst are starting to emerge. Many of the elderly flu victims, those ages 65 years and older, are at greater risk for developing serious complications and are also residents of nursing home and long-term care communities. With flu activity expected to rise in the weeks and months ahead, be sure your loved one’s nursing home is prepared.

  1. Hand Washing and Hygiene: Health care facilities should provide frequent staff training on infection prevention techniques and management, including hand washing, equipment sterilization, identifying sick patients for isolation, and the quick identification of flu symptoms and treatment methods. Good hand hygiene should especially be practiced before and after all patient contact, contact with potentially infectious material, and before putting on and upon removal of personal protective equipment, including gloves. Residents and guests should be encouraged to perform hand hygiene.

Elderly Woman Attacked

Convict Walked Into Nursing Home and Sexually Assaulted Elderly Woman

A $50 million claim has been made against a California nursing home after a convict snuck in and sexually abused an 88-year-old woman, according to San Diego news source, NBC7. Lawyers for the victim’s family say shortly after 49-year-old Lusean Arline was released on parole, he welcomed himself through a Hillcrest nursing home’s unlocked back door and then proceeded to the second floor and sexually attack an elderly resident in her room. The report further explained that the woman was taken to a local hospital where she was treated for the rape, a broken arm, and emotional stress.

Nursing Home Negligence ‘Opened the Door’ to Violent Crime

Patient and Nurse Struggling

Good and Bad Nursing Homes Struggle with These 6 Issues

Certified skilled nursing facilities in Illinois are required to provide individualized care for residents. That is about 1,300 nursing homes responsible, both for-profit or not-for-profit, set to comply with about 1,500 state and federal standards. Yet violations related to abuse, safety and neglect as outlined by the Nursing Home Care Act occur each day, many undocumented or resolved. And unfortunately, trends in failing to comply can occur at both good and bad facilities.

The nursing home abuse and neglect attorneys at Levin & Perconti continue to identify these six common issues leading to nursing home abuse and neglect cited at facilities located throughout Illinois.

Senior Living and Music

New Study Finds Hopeful Link Between Patients with Dementia and Music

Dementia, a form of Alzheimer’s, is “one of the only top-10 causes of death in the U.S. that cannot be prevented, cured or slowed,” according to the Alzheimer’s Association in Illinois. The majority of individuals diagnosed with dementia symptoms grow to rely on care provided by a nursing home to help manage their daily activities, medications, financial needs, and assist them while residing in a safe environment.

For decades, physicians and families of nursing home residents have fought against the misuse of antipsychotic drugs to treat dementia symptoms rather than look to alternative treatments. Researchers now say findings related to how the human brain responds to a familiar song at super speed could be used to help calm patients battling dementia.

nursing home neglect

Nursing Home’s Failed Disaster Response Resulted in 12 Resident Deaths 

Four former employees at the Florida nursing home plagued with power outages from Hurricane Irma will be held responsible for the 12 residents who died from heat-related injuries and illnesses in 2017. The deceased were all residents at Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills and ranged in age 57 to 99.

The employees, of which three were nurses and one a facility administrator, failed to do their basic duty to protect life and never dialed 911 for evacuation help. The company responsible for restoring power to the home released a statement that “those customers who have electricity dependent medical needs should call 911 if they are without power and in a life-threatening situation.”

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