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Nursing Home Abuse at BRIA of Chicago Heights

Moving an elderly family member into assisted can come with both trepidation and relief. They probably require medical care and assistance with daily activities that are best provided by professional caregivers, but you may also wonder if they will receive all of the care they need.

You may also wonder how you will know that they’re receiving proper care. Nursing homes are required to notify the families of their residents if something goes amiss, but this is not guaranteed.

At some point you may realize it is up to you to keep tabs on your loved one’s care. Depending on their mental capacity and personality, your relative may not be able to give you a full report of how well they’re being treated, even if asked. That means you may need to brush up on the signs of nursing home abuse and neglect so you can monitor their treatment yourself.

In general, if you see signs of unexplained injury or decline in health, a pattern of poor hygiene and uncleanliness, or any sudden changes of behavior in your relative, you should have cause to worry. But there are many specific signs of abuse and neglect that you can watch for too, including, but not limited to:

  • Bruises, burns, fractures, or scars,
  • Sunken cheeks or eyes
  • Untreated or severe bedsores
  • Injuries from accidents like falls
  • Unexplained venereal disease
  • Frequent trips to the ER or doctor
  • Sudden weight loss
  • Dirty hair and nails
  • Dirty clothes or strong body odor
  • Sudden behaviors like rocking back and forth
  • Withdrawn or violent behavior
  • Lost personal items
  • A dirty room or bathroom

Some signs of abuse may not be observable by you, but if you hear about them they are worth questioning staff about, such as instances of wandering, not receiving enough food or water, ignored call lights, overmedication, wrong type or dosage of medication being administered, verbal insults, personal requests ignored, or any disrespectful treatment. Anything that can harm your relative physically or emotionally while in nursing home care can be considered abuse or neglect.

Reporting Nursing Home Abuse

Besides knowing how to spot nursing home abuse, you should also learn how to report it, just in case. When a resident moves into an assisted living facility, they and their family should receive a copy of the facility’s procedure for submitting grievances. This procedure should be publicly posted for easy reference as well.

If you ever need to notify a family member’s nursing home of possible or blatant abuse, begin by following this procedure and speak to someone in management like a staff supervisor or the facility administrator. They can guide you through the grievance process and take steps to notify the proper authorities according to law and remove your relative from an abusive situation.

It may be helpful to provide documentation of your concerns, such as notes about what you know or have seen or even pictures and video. At every step of the way you have the right to know how your complaint is being handled. The nursing home staff should keep you informed of the actions they take to protect your relative.

However, if they fail to take appropriate action, you can seek outside help too. That may include speaking with your loved one’s doctor, contacting your local long-term care ombudsman, or reporting the facility to the state licensing agency–whatever it takes to keep your family member out of harm’s way.

Preventing Nursing Home Abuse

Levin & Perconti hopes you never find yourself confronting a nursing home for abusing a loved one. We know the pain such a breach of trust causes victims and their families.

But in working with our clients, we’ve learned a few things about both good and bad nursing homes. It is our observation that abuse is more likely in poorly rated nursing homes and less likely in the highly rated ones. These ratings are awarded to Medicare-certified nursing homes each year and published on to help families and individuals find the best-performing facilities where residents are treated with respect and receive proper care.

You can also find recent health inspection reports for these nursing homes on Medicare’s website. These reports list deficiencies that each facility is cited for and can give you valuable information about the quality of care residents receive at any nursing home you’re considering. While even the best nursing homes may have a few deficiencies, we suggest noting the number and severity of citations when comparing prospective nursing homes.

To do our part in helping you prevent a loved one in assisted living from coming to any harm, Levin & Perconti shares the ratings and health inspection findings from for Illinois nursing homes on our website. Our goal is to give you the insight you need to pick the best nursing home possible for your family member.

About BRIA of Chicago Heights

120 W 26th St.
South Chicago Heights, IL 60411

BRIA of Chicago Heights has 112 Medicare-certified beds and serves both short- and long-term residents. The facility provides a number of health care services including 24-hour skilled nursing, short-term rehab, dementia services, hospice care, bariatric care, wound care, and a number of therapies and more.

Medicare gives BRIA of Chicago Heights a dismal Much Below Average overall rating due to its Average quality measures rating, Much Below Average staffing rating, and Below Average health inspection rating. The facility also had 13 deficiencies cited in its last health inspection. Below is a sample of these deficiencies:

4/18/2018 Failure to reasonably accommodate the needs and preferences of each resident. The facility failed to ensure call lights were in reach for 4 residents. All of these residents had call lights hanging too high or behind the heads of their beds where they could not reach them if in need of assistance.

4/18/2018 Failure to provide care and assistance to perform activities of daily living for any resident who is unable. The facility failed to ensure that 8 residents had received adequate assistance with nail and mouth care. Seven residents were observed with long, dirty fingernails. One stated that they had requested help with nail trimming but never received it. Another resident was observed with an accumulated brownish-yellow substance on her teeth.

4/18/2018 Failure to make sure there is a pest control program to prevent/deal with mice, insects, or other pests. The facility failed to provide a pest-free environment. Small black insects were observed crawling and flying in and out of a shower drain in one of the common shower rooms. Staff had not called the facility’s pest control contractor.

Levin & Perconti, Nursing Home Abuse Law Experts

No one should suffer the indignities of nursing home abuse. If you or a family member have suffered harm from abuse or neglect at BRIA of Chicago Heights or another Illinois nursing home, you may have a legal case against them. As nationally recognized experts in nursing home abuse law, the attorneys at Levin & Perconti can help you determine if you have a case and what your next steps are to win the verdict or settlement you deserve. If you are ready to explore your legal options, click or call Levin & Perconti at 888-424-5757 today for a free consultation.

Disclaimer: The above health inspection findings are taken from public records kept and published by Medicare and the state of Illinois and are not complete. Levin & Perconti cannot confirm that this page’s content includes the latest information available. Any corrections or additions made to these public records after publication of this page will not be found here. For the most up-to-date information, visit or This page is a legal advertisement and informational resource for visitors and is not endorsed by the named facility or any government agency. Levin & Perconti does not have any affiliation with the named facility.