BRIA of Forest Edge
If you have a family member in assisted living or expect to soon, you may be at least mildly concerned about the possibility of them suffering abuse or neglect during their residency. Although nursing home abuse is relatively rare, it’s still a valid concern.
It is difficult to trust strangers, even trained professionals, with the care of our loved ones. You may feel better if you brush up on some of the signs of nursing home abuse so you can be informed and know when to step in if something ever goes wrong for your relative.
There are five generally recognized forms of nursing home abuse: physical, sexual, emotional, financial, and neglect. There are innumerable ways to abuse a vulnerable person and many different signs for each. Some signs overlap. Learning just some of the basic ones though can go a long way in detecting abuse and neglect in a nursing home environment.
Physical abuse is anything that causes physical harm, whether intentionally or due to neglect. Some signs of physical abuse include unexplained injuries or bruises and scars from injuries, signs of restraint such as rope marks on the wrist, broken eyeglasses, frequent trips to the ER or doctor, and a pattern of accidents.
Sexual abuse is unwanted and non-consensual sexual attention or contact. Some signs of sexual abuse are unexplained STDs, vaginal or anal bleeding, and bruising around the genitals or breasts.
Emotional or psychological abuse can include verbal abuse such as yelling, criticizing, taunting, threatening, or name calling. It also includes anything done to humiliate, scare, shame, or otherwise disrespect a person.
An emotionally abused nursing home resident might display sudden unusual behaviors such as mumbling, sucking their thumb, sleeplessness, aggression, or rocking back and forth. Unfortunately, these signs are similar to dementia symptoms, which many nursing home residents have, so unless you witness emotional abuse, it can be very difficult to recognize or prove.
Financial abuse and exploitation occur when a caregiver takes advantage of their access to a resident’s finances and steals their personal information or money. It can also involve stealing money or valuables from their person or room. Missing items, unexplained account withdrawals, changes to documents to benefit a caregiver, or other unusual banking activities can all indicate financial abuse.
Finally, while neglect is different from abuse in that it is usually more passive and often accidental, it is nevertheless just as harmful. Neglect is the failure to meet a dependent person’s needs. Signs of neglect are probably the most numerous and varied, but can include unsafe living conditions, dirty clothes, unkempt hair and nails, poor hygiene, dirty or dangerous living conditions, bedsores, dehydration, sudden unexplained weight loss, episodes of wandering or elopement, and poor sanitation practices.
All of these kinds of abuse put vulnerable nursing home residents at risk for real harm. While it’s difficult for nursing home facilities to cater to everyone’s personal preferences, they should never allow living conditions or staff behavior to cause mental or physical pain or discomfort to defenseless residents. It is every nursing home’s legal responsibility to keep its residents safe and in the best health possible at all times.Reporting Nursing Home Abuse
Now that you have a better understanding of what constitutes nursing home abuse, would you know how to report it and protect a nursing home resident if you had to? While it’s unlikely you’ll ever need to, it’s still important to know how to submit a grievance or complaint to your family member’s nursing home, just in case.
Every nursing home is required to have a grievance procedure and to inform residents and their representatives of it. They should also keep a copy posted somewhere public for easy reference. If you do not yet have your own copy of this procedure, ask for one. You may want to also go over it with your relative to make sure they know they can report grievances or ask you to do so for them.
This is the procedure to follow if you ever have reason to believe your relative is being mistreated. At the same time, you can go straight to someone in charge at the facility, such as the facility administrator or a staff supervisor. They can help you follow the procedure and begin their own part of the procedure, such as initiating an investigation, contacting local authorities, and removing your loved one from a dangerous situation.
You don’t have to rely solely on nursing home management to help you, however. Unfortunately, sometimes management is part of the problem, and they may be disinclined to take appropriate action if they fear facing repercussions themselves or are merely ineffective leaders. In this case, you can seek outside help from contacts in your community such as a doctor, your long-term care ombudsman, or your state’s licensing agency. They should have either resources or the authority to help you protect your loved one.Preventing Nursing Home Abuse
While it’s important to know how to identify and report nursing home abuse, it is always preferable that it doesn’t happen at all. It pains us to see the consequences of abuse on frail nursing home residents and their families. That’s why Levin & Perconti is dedicated to fighting for the rights of nursing home abuse victims.Our attorneys have handled hundreds of such cases, including some involving:
- Clogged Breathing Tubes
- Sepsis and Other Infections
- Malnutrition and/or Dehydration
- Physical or Sexual Assault or Abuse
- Unauthorized Physical and/or Chemical Restraint Use
- Verbal Abuse
- Alzheimer's and Dementia Patients
- Falls, Improper Transfers, Drops by Staff
- Medication Errors
- Wandering and Elopement from facilities
- Pressure Sores
But we wish we didn’t see so many of these cases. That’s why Levin & Perconti wants to share what we’ve learned about preventing nursing home abuse by picking the right nursing home for your relatives.
Over the years, we’ve noticed that abuse is more likely to occur in facilities that have received low ratings from Medicare. Each year Medicare-certified nursing homes are giving ratings ranging from Much Below Average to Much Above Average based on their performance. Low-rated nursing homes are poor performers and often fail in their duties to protect residents from harm. On the other hand, highly rated nursing homes provide the best care and see much fewer cases of abuse.
All of these ratings can be found on medicare.org. We also suggest taking a look at the health inspection reports published there. These reports of the most recent health inspection findings list all of the deficiencies a facility has been cited for in the last year.
When the time comes for you to choose a nursing home, compare the ratings and number and severity of health inspection citations for the facilities in your community to find the highest quality ones. Choosing one of these is usually your safest option for a beloved relative.
Levin & Perconti wants to do all we can to protect families from the tragedy of nursing home abuse. That’s why we take it upon ourselves to share the ratings and health inspection citations from medicare.org on our own website for Illinois nursing homes. We hope this gives families like yours quick access to the information you need to find a safe nursing home.About BRIA of Forest Edge
8001 S Western Ave.
Chicago, IL 60620
BRIA of Forest Edge is a large Medicare-certified nursing home facility with 328 beds. Residents receive a number of medical services, including 24-hour nursing care, dementia services, hospice care, pain management, wound care, rehabilitation, a number of therapies, and more.
Medicare gives BRIA of Forest Edge an unfortunate Much Below Average overall rating. Although the facility managed an Above Average quality measures rating, it also received a Much Below Average rating for both staffing and health inspections. The facility also has an astounding 29 health citations on its latest health inspection report. Below is just a sample of these deficiencies.
8/16/2018 Failure to ensure services provided by the nursing facility meet professional standards of quality. A staff member failed to ensure a resident was given their own personal injectable medication. A nurse could not find a resident’s vial of insulin. The nurse instead injected the resident with insulin borrowed from another resident’s previously open vial while admitting this was against policy. The director of nursing stated that nurses should check the facility’s emergency pharmacy convenience box for extra medication and never borrow from another resident.
8/16/2018 Failure to provide appropriate foot care. The facility failed to provide foot care for a resident. The resident was observed with long and thick toenails with blackish coloring. Five hours later the resident’s foot had still not been looked at by a medical professional.
8/16/2018 Failure to ensure meals and snacks are served at times in accordance with resident’s needs, preferences, and requests. Suitable and nourishing alternative meals and snacks must be provided for residents who want to eat at non-traditional times or outside of scheduled mealtimes. The facility failed to serve meals according to scheduled dining hours. Fourteen residents were observed waiting in their floor’s dining room for their lunch which was over an hour late. They stated that their lunch is usually served late and the food is cold because their floor is the last to be served. A number of the waiting residents confirmed that they were hungry while waiting.Levin & Perconti, Nursing Home Abuse Law Experts
Nursing home abuse and neglect comes in many forms, but if you or a loved one have suffered personal injury or harm at BRIA of Forest Edge or another Illinois nursing home, you have rights and deserve your day in court. With our nursing home law expertise, the attorneys at Levin & Perconti will guide you through every step of your case and help you win the outcome you desire. If you’re ready to begin, 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 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.