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Legal Guidance for BRIA Nursing Home Neglect and Abuse

The senior citizen population has seen steep growth in recent decades and continues to climb. By 2050, 20% of Americans will be over the age of 65. This aging demographic has consequently created a boom in elder care industries. It is estimated that 40% of Americans will need some kind of assisted living at some point in their lives, and there is money to be made from these services.

Unfortunately, increases in the number of nursing home residents correlates to increases in nursing home abuse reports, as assisted living facilities struggle to meet the rising demand and resort to cutting corners in staffing as a way to maximize profits. The majority of US nursing homes are for-profit, and many will hire as few employees as possible or fill vacancies with unskilled staff to reduce costs.

Most nursing home staff will never intentionally set out to hurt residents, but many can’t help but cause harm when they’re given duties for which they have little to no training or relevant qualifications. All too often nursing tasks fall to cheaper CNAs who are not qualified to give medical assessments or treatments, putting vulnerable residents at risk for malpractice, injury, and even death.

Additionally, fewer staff means less time spent attending to each resident. Even the best trained caregiver can only do so much when pressed for time, and individual needs often go unmet in crowded facilities where the ratio of residents to staff is too high. These are prime conditions for mistakes to be made and ignored, necessities forgotten, and signs of decline to be missed.

Levin & Perconti knows you don’t want your elderly loved one’s caregivers to only see dollar signs when they look at residents. You want your family member to receive excellent medical and personal care from professionals, who see them as an individual deserving of dignity and compassion. And we’ve seen the nursing homes who do make this kind of professionalism and dignity a priority and excel at it. Unfortunately, we’ve seen too many nursing homes that were the opposite as well.

That’s why Levin & Perconti seeks to educate families and individuals about available resources for identifying and comparing the assisted living facilities in their area before settling on one. We have taken it upon ourselves to share information published by Medicare about nursing home ratings for facilities in our service area to make this easier on you. We know you want the best for your loved one, and we do too. We invite you to join us in our efforts to protect vulnerable senior citizens from greedy assisted living businesses and learn more about the good and bad facilities in your area.

Looking at the BRIA Health Services Network

Thirteen facilities operate within the BRIA Health Services network in Illinois and Wisconsin with the promise to help residents whether they’re “healing from a serious illness or making a life transition” with short-term rehabilitation services and long-term assisted and independent living options.

BRIA advertises a “STRIVE Program,” which stands for “Strength Through Restoring Independence Vitality and Energy.” Their interdisciplinary STRIVE team is tasked with helping post-acute patients recover and rehabilitate quickly and return home healthy. This team includes professional physiatrists, physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists, and respiratory therapists. Furthermore, the network boasts state-of-the-art medical and therapy equipment, gyms, rehabilitation services seven days a week, and 24-hour nursing.

BRIA’s Trinity Village campus in Milwaukee offers both assisted and independent living accommodations for seniors looking for a permanent move. Amenities include standard TV, telephones, and internet access, as well as community activities, on-site banking, a store, and a chapel. Trinity Village claims to be a proven leader in rehabilitation and skilled nursing, with 24-hour nursing care and various therapies available. The facility is also one of the only ventilator programs in Wisconsin, providing residents with access to a team of licensed respiratory therapists 24/7.

BRIA emphasizes its compassionate care provided by passionate, professional staff, but as we’ve learned, families of vulnerable seniors can’t always take nursing homes at their word. Do government ratings find that BRIA is living up to its promise to “strive” to strengthen residents and improve their quality of life, or are they merely striving to take your money?

Life at BRIA Health Services Facilities

When we research living conditions at nursing homes, we look at ratings given by government organizations like Medicare. Medicare collects information about health inspections, staffing, and other quality measurements to award up to 5 stars for how well a facility is meeting established standards for resident care and operation. Comparing these ratings between multiple nursing homes will help your family identify the best facilities in your area and which ones to steer clear of.

Unfortunately, the BRIA Health Services facilities by and large fall in the latter category. Our research into these nursing homes finds that only one location achieved higher than an overall Average three-star rating, with most locations relegated to mere one and two stars. These overall ratings encompass multiple other ratings, most of which are also tragically low among the various BRIA facilities.

The most worrisome of the BRIA facilities are as follows:

A 2016 report by the Chicago Tribune lists some of these locations as being under investigation at that time for violence and sexual assault against residents. Additionally, Medicare shows little confidence in these facilities. Each received Below Average or Much Below Average overall ratings, indicating major problems in their operations and quality of care.

A closer look reveals that the main issues lie in staffing and health inspection results. For an example, we’ll look closer at the long-term assisted living facility BRIA of Trinity Village, since permanent nursing home residents are at the most risk of suffering abuse and neglect.

Trinity Village was awarded a one-star health inspection rating, and average ratings for staffing and quality measures. The latter two mean the facility has an average number of staff per number of residents and that metrics of care are also in a normal range compared to other facilities in the state and country.

However, recent Medicare health inspection reports describe infractions and complaints of poor sanitation practices and lack of vital communication, including staff failing to wash hands and change gloves while bathing residents, failure to notify family of changes to medical treatment, and failure to monitor and notify a physician of signs of decline. Such oversights can put residents at risk of serious illness and death.

Unfortunately, even the four-star BRIA of Westmont location does not offer a profound contrast to the struggling Trinity Village. Although BRIA of Westmont achieved five stars for its quality measures rating, it suffers from a Below Average staffing rating and merely Average health inspection rating. Recent health inspection reports for the Westmont facility found a number of deficiencies similar to those reported at Trinity Village, such as failure to keep residents groomed and clean and multiple cases of mishandling pharmaceuticals.

With disappointing ratios of staff to residents, it isn’t out of the realm of possibility that this facility struggles to provide adequate care for all residents, despite it being the “best” rated of the BRIA nursing homes.

Elder Abuse Cases Handled by Levin & Perconti

Levin & Perconti finds no pleasure in reporting on failing nursing homes like those in the BRIA Health Services network, but we’ve seen enough personal injury cases to make it our goal to dissuade families from placing loved ones in obviously struggling facilities and prevent additional cases of elder abuse, such as those involving:

As we’ve seen with the BRIA network, issues tend to be common amongst all nursing homes under the same for-profit company, indicating that deficiencies with management and staffing practices start at the top and trickle down. This is why it is important to research and compare multiple nursing homes, so you can watch for patterns within networks.

Levin & Perconti wants you to know that if you have a loved one in a questionable nursing home, there are laws in place to protect their safety and hold abusive and negligent caregivers accountable.

However, it’s always best to prevent the abuse and neglect beforehand by finding a highly-rated facility for them to live in. That’s why we encourage families to take the time to carefully research and consider all of their options for assisted living before making a final–potentially fatal–decision.

Nevertheless, even the best preparation may not be enough to entirely protect a vulnerable resident. In the event that you do find you need the law’s help, Levin & Perconti have the experience and expertise you want on your side. We are one of the top elder abuse law firms in Illinois and surrounding states, with millions of dollars in settlements and verdicts won for former clients.

If you need help seeking justice for an elder abuse victim, the attorneys at Levin & Perconti are ready to start today. Just click here to fill out an online request form, or call us toll-free today at 877-374-1417 or 312-332-2872 for a free consultation and some peace of mind.aaaaaaa