How to Find Out If Your Parent’s Nursing Home Has a History of Abuse or Neglect?
Choosing a long-term care facility for your parent can feel completely overwhelming and the decision-making process is often stressful on the entire family. Thankfully, beginning October 23, the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is making a much-needed change to how families can be better informed of Illinois nursing homes that have been cited for violations related to abuse, neglect and exploitation. The Nursing Home Compare tool will now include a bright red “abuse icon” next to these troublesome homes.
If you’ve already got a particular facility in mind, or have a loved one who is currently a nursing home resident, you can also use the medicare.gov site to look more closely at your choice or to check into any concerns or suspicions.
In reviewing the general information provided, beyond the abuse alert, here are some key data points to consider as you compare facilities:
- Is the nursing home based within a hospital? This facilitates easy access to medical care for residents who might have chronic or worsening medical conditions.
- Is the nursing home a for-profit or non-profit facility?Research shows that non-profit facilities tend to have more nursing staff and fewer survey deficiencies and spend more money per day on nursing costs and food.
- What is the size of the facility (measured in the total number of beds)?Smaller centers might provide more individualized care, while larger ones might offer more group activities.
- Is there a resident and/or family council?These are voluntary organizations within the nursing home that can help communicate concerns to facility administrators and advocate for patients’ needs and priorities.
- Has the facility been cited in recent health inspections?The site lists both the number of citations issued and their potential severity.
- Is the facility adequately staffed?The site’s staffing tab details the hours per day of care a resident is likely to receive from registered nurses and nurses’ aides so that you can compare the number to the national average.
Also, even if you don’t see the abuse-alert icon, if something seems worrisome about your loved one’s care, you might still want to look into the following information:
- Review Illinois’ most recent nursing home violations list (through the Illinois Department of Public Health or IDPH).
- Become familiar with the 22 known Illinois Special Focus Facility (SFF) program facilities identified in June 2019.
- Tour each facility and come prepared with a checklist of questions.
We should all be part of a solution to curve the epidemic of abuse plaguing our most vulnerable citizens, and being better informed of a facility’s violations and holding them accountable is one way we can do that.
Contact Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Attorneys in Illinois
If you suspect an injury resulting from neglect or abuse at your loved one’s nursing home in Illinois, contact the attorneys of Levin & Perconti now at 1-877-374-1417, or by completing our online case evaluation form for a free consultation.