BRIA of River Oaks
Everyone makes mistakes, but when those mistakes put a vulnerable person’s health and safety at risk, it can be considered neglect. Unfortunately this happens all too often at American nursing homes where elderly adults are dependent on caretakers for their every need. Just one mishap or moment of forgetfulness is all it takes to make a nursing home resident sick or injured.
Most neglect is accidental. Many nursing homes have low staff to resident ratios, meaning employees have too many residents to be responsible for. Even the best-intentioned caregivers will forget something or rush through a task and fail to do something properly when they are overstretched and overworked. They might be tired, distracted, or burnt out. It’s easy to mix up the specific needs of residents when caring for many different individuals throughout the day.
Sometimes staff simply become apathetic either as a coping mechanism in response to stress on the job or because they are not motivated individuals to begin with. Low employee morale due to poor working conditions can often be blamed on insufficient employee support or training from the facility as well. A caregiver who just doesn’t care anymore is very likely to make mistakes or choose to ignore proper procedures in order to complete a task quickly and just get through the work day.
While nursing home employees deserve proper working conditions and support so they can have meaningful careers, the real harm is often suffered by their charges. Every year thousands of senior nursing home residents suffer discomfort, humiliation, injury, illness, and even death when neglected by their caregivers.
Unfortunately, there is not adequate government oversight for US nursing homes at this time to make a big enough impact on the rising reports of neglect in nursing homes. All too often, it falls to nursing home residents’ families to notice and speak up about neglect and other forms of abuse.
Reporting Nursing Home Abuse
If you have a family member living in a nursing home, it is vital that you are prepared to notify their facility if you suspect they are receiving subpar care. Even one mistake such as administering the wrong medication or allowing them to fall during a transfer can cause serious injury and should be addressed. A pattern of such mishaps becomes even more dangerous.
If you ever have reason to question the quality of care your loved one is receiving or you know of a serious incident that harmed them or could have potentially harmed them, follow the nursing home’s policy for filing a grievance on behalf of residents. It is every nursing home’s legal obligation to have such a policy and to make it known to residents and their representatives. If you do not have access to this policy now, ask for a copy before you need it.
You may even wish to review it with your relative so they are aware of their right to file a complaint. Many nursing home residents do not realize they can submit a grievance if they are unhappy with some aspect of their care. They may even be told they cannot by staff who are afraid of the consequences of neglect or abuse. It is important that your relative understands their rights and knows they have your support.
When you report a grievance, follow the facility’s procedure and get help from an authority figure there. A staff supervisor or the facility administrator should be able to assist you. They are responsible for investigating and correcting any potential abuse and neglect and should take you concerns very seriously.
If you ever find that they are failing in their duties to protect your family member, however, there is nothing to stop you from seeking outside support as well. Your loved one’s doctor may have resources for you to find the right authority to talk to. In many communities you can get help from a local long-term care ombudsman or the state licensing agency as well.
Preventing Nursing Home Abuse
No matter how helpful a nursing home is at stopping an abusive situation, it is always better that the abuse and neglect never begins at all. Abuse and neglect in nursing homes can come in innumerable forms.
In our years of helping nursing home abuse victims, we’ve noticed a pattern. Most cases of abuse originate in nursing homes with low Medicare ratings. These ratings are published annually on medicare.org and are meant to indicate the best and worst performing nursing homes in the country. The lower a facility’s rating, the more it struggles to provide proper care for residents, putting them at higher risk of abuse and neglect. The trick, then, is to look at only high-performing facilities when choosing assisted living care for a relative. These facilities have a much-reduced risk of abuse.
To further help you find the best nursing homes, Medicare also publishes its health inspection reports. Facilities with fewer citations and more mild infractions can be assumed to be safer for prospective residents. Comparing the information on medicare.org for the nursing homes in your area can help you find a home for an elderly loved one where you can feel confident in the quality of care they will receive.
To help you in your research, Levin & Perconti also shares this information from Medicare on our own website. We want to help Illinois residents reduce the number of nursing home abuse cases in the state court system by saving their family members and themselves from the heartbreak of nursing home abuse.
About BRIA of River Oaks
14500 S Manistee Ave.
Burnham, IL 60633
BRIA of River Oaks is a large Medicare-certified nursing home facility with 309 beds and offers residents 24-hour nursing care, dementia services, hospice care, IV therapy, enteral therapy, palliative care, a geropsychiatric program, and more.
Medicare gives BRIA of River Oaks a disappointing Below Average overall rating. While it achieves an Above Average quality measures rating and Average health inspection rating, its staffing rating is Much Below Average. To its credit, the facility received only 6 citations on its last health inspection report. Below is a sample of these.
7/13/2018 Failure to provide care and assistance to perform activities of daily living for any resident who is unable. The facility failed to supply a call light for a resident. The resident is bed bound with his upper extremities contracted. His call light was found on the floor. He stated that he yells when he needs assistance. A CNA stated that he can’t move his fingers to use the call light anyway. The facility did not have other accommodations for him.
7/13/2018 Failure to provide appropriate treatment and care according to orders, resident’s preferences and goals. The facility failed to identify an anticoagulant medication as high-risk medication and provide precautions to prevent bleeding for one resident. The resident’s care plan did not address the risks of the anticoagulant prescribed, so staff failed to monitor the resident for signs of bleeding or bruising, putting the resident at risk for such.
7/13/2018 Failure to make sure that a working call system is available in each resident’s bathroom and bathing area. The facility failed to ensure 6 residents had functional call lights. Call lights for the 6 residents were broken. A wheelchair bound resident stated they will go get a nurse if they need help. An asthmatic resident said when they can’t breathe, they use a cell phone to call the front desk for help. Another resident had no way to call for help.
Get Help from Levin & Perconti
Stopping abuse or neglect of a loved one in assisted living may not always be enough to rectify the situation. If they have suffered real harm at the hands of BRIA of River Oaks or another Illinois nursing home, they may be entitled to some legal restitution. To explore and pursue this option, you need the experts on your side.
Levin & Perconti has more than 40 years of experience fighting and winning for nursing home abuse victims and will do so for you and your loved one. Click or call Levin & Perconti at 888-424-5757 any time to get started with 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 www.il.gov or medicare.gov. 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.
Not only were they so professional but also so caring and thoughtful. It was very difficult going over the facts in our mother's case but they were so compassionate and understanding and allowed us to be with them every step of the way. We were able to sit in on the depositions and we were really able to see how hard they worked on our behalf.