Generations at Peoria
Is your loved one who is entering nursing home care at higher risk for abuse? That’s a double-edged question. On one hand, seniors living in nursing homes actually experience lower rates of elder abuse than those living at home with family members as caregivers.
On the other hand, nursing homes come with their own risk factors that may not affect seniors living at home. And some of those risks are higher at certain nursing homes than others. The important thing is that you understand those risks and learn how to avoid them by selecting the right nursing home.
There are six main risk factors that contribute to elder abuse in nursing homes. Some of them present challenges to staff taking proper care of the vulnerable adults they are responsible for, leading to mistakes. Some promote high-stress situations that lead staff to harm residents.
Still others create a situation that makes it easier for predatory staff to prey on defenseless victims. Some of these factors you have more control over as a family member than others, but all are worth learning about.
High Staff-to-Resident Ratio
The higher the number of residents per staff member, the more work each staff member has to do. When caring for seniors, there are lots of small but important tasks that must be done for each one. It is easy for overworked employees to begin making mistakes or cutting corners on vital health-related tasks. They also get frustrated more easily and may lash out at residents.
High Staff Turnover
When nursing homes fail to retain good employees, it’s a red flag. Something about the facility’s operations may be suspect. High turnover also makes continuity of care difficult. Caregivers and residents can’t bond in mutually beneficial ways, and new staff have to learn small details and preferences for individual residents all over again. This leads to impersonal care which lies at the root of many abusive situations.
Lack of Staff Training
Unfortunately, many nursing homes today try to replace skilled nurses with less skilled CNAs or other staff who require less pay. The result is that CNAs may find themselves responsible for tasks that require a nurse’s training.
This creates a huge risk for mistakes and medical malpractice. A nursing home may also fail to properly train staff on its own protocols, leaving caregivers to do the best they can in difficult situations instead of following best practices. All of this can be dangerous for residents.
Lack of Abuse Prevention Policies
Abuse comes in many forms. If a nursing home does not have policies that spell out what constitutes abuse and has preventative measures in place to stop as much abuse as possible, all residents are in danger of suffering harm at the hands of staff.
Even professional caregivers sometimes need such rules spelled out for them. The lack of abuse prevention policies also indicates a relaxed attitude towards abuse in general, which is alarming.
Because dementia patients have poor memory and cognitive skills, it is especially easy to take advantage of them. The resident may not remember being abused or may not be believed if they try to report it. For this reason, predatory staff specifically target residents with dementia or Alzheimer’s.
Employees also target nursing home residents who are isolated from friends and family. A resident who is not in touch with the outside world does not have someone they can report abuse to or who can notice when something isn’t right. It’s easier to get away with abusive behavior when loved ones are not checking on the victim.
None of these factors guarantees that a resident will be abused, but they do add to the risk. Luckily, some of that risk can be reduced for all of these. Families can begin by planning to visit their relatives in the nursing home regularly so they are less likely to be targeted and if abuse does occur visitors can note that something is wrong. For dementia patients or residents with other disabilities, this is especially important.
While you can’t change how a nursing home operates, you can control which nursing home your family member is admitted to. After decades of working with nursing home abuse victims, Levin & Perconti have learned a thing or two about what makes a good nursing home and how to find one. We want you to know it is possible to find a safe nursing home with a drastically reduced risk of abuse.
How to Find a Good Nursing Home
Finding a reputable nursing home is a matter of good research upfront. But where to start? Levin & Perconti likes to refer families looking for nursing homes to medicare.org to begin. Medicare rates US nursing homes each year on a scale from Much Below Average to Much Above Average. The better than average facilities show proof of high-quality care and respect for residents, while below average facilities have questionable results during inspections. Your goal should always be to look for nursing homes that are as highly rated as possible.
To help you better understand Medicare’s ratings, medicare.org also makes its health inspection reports available to the public. These reports can tell you how many health citations a nursing home has received in the past year and how severe they are. Remember, every facility will have a few citations. You want to avoid nursing homes with above average numbers of citations and the more problematic citations that can be related to poor staffing practices, lack of abuse prevention policies, and abuse in general.
Beyond medicare.org there are a number of other resources you can refer to also. A quick Google search will reveal other websites with nursing home reviews and ratings. You can contact your local long-term care ombudsman or the state licensing agency for information on nursing home performance in your area. Even your relative’s doctor or local community groups that provide services to senior citizens may have information or additional resources to check about your town’s nursing homes.
In addition to researching second-hand information, you should also tour prospective nursing homes yourself. Visit your top few picks to get a sense for what they’re really like in person. Look for hints like the demeanors of staff and residents and the cleanliness of the facility. Talk to the facility administrator and ask questions about the risk factors we discussed above, such as staff to resident ratios and abuse prevention policies. If anything doesn’t seem right, trust your gut and continue your search.
Nursing home abuse is traumatic and uncalled for. There is never a reason for a situation to devolve into something that will hurt a defenseless elderly person. Unfortunately, too many caregivers, and even their employers, forget that. Levin & Perconti has spent decades fighting for the rights of nursing home abuse victims, and we’ve seen what the worst nursing homes can do.
You can’t stop nursing home abuse completely, but you can reduce the risk that it will threaten your family members. And we hope you’ll let Levin & Perconti help. We like to share useful information about Illinois nursing home ratings and health inspections from Medicare on our website, so you have one more resource in your arsenal against bad nursing home care. We hope this small favor can help families like yours to avoid the worst of Illinois nursing homes.
About Generations at Peoria
5600 N Glen Elm Dr.
Peoria, IL 61614
Generations at Peoria is a rehabilitation and post-acute care facility with 144 Medicare-certified beds for short- and long-term residents. Healthcare services include 24-hour skilled nursing, memory care, short-term rehabilitation, respiratory care, hospice services, and more.
Generations at Peoria received a Below Average health inspection rating, Above Average staffing rating, and Much Above Average quality measures rating. All of these combined add up to an Above Average overall rating.
Despite the good overall rating, the poor health inspection rating is telling. For more insight into this low rating, view the complete health inspection report for Generations at Peoria on medicare.org or see a sample of its health citations below.
8/30/2018 Failure to allow residents to easily view the nursing home’s survey results and communicate with advocate agencies. The facility failed to have the state survey inspection book in an area that residents can easily access and view. During a resident council, five residents denied knowing where the state survey inspection book was kept or what it contained. The book was not visible during a facility-wide tour. The administrator stated that it is kept in their office in a cabinet and residents may ask to see it.
8/30/2018 Failure to protect each resident from all types of abuse such as physical, mental, sexual abuse, physical punishment, and neglect by anybody. The facility failed to notify a physician of a new fracture, communicate the fracture to oncoming staff, or control severe pain following a resident’s fall. A resident was witnessed falling and complained of hip pain and restricted range of motion. An x-ray was ordered that day, but the results weren’t communicated to oncoming staff that night or the resident’s doctor. New staff saw the x-ray and notified the resident’s doctor the next day, at which time she was admitted to the hospital for surgery. In the meantime, the resident was in pain.
8/30/2018 Failure to provide appropriate care for residents who are continent or incontinent of bowel/bladder, appropriate catheter care, and appropriate care to prevent urinary tract infections. Staff failed to perform hand hygiene and change gloves during incontinent care for two residents. A nurse provided incontinence care then touched the resident’s sheet and bare back and performed further incontinence care without changing gloves. A second resident was on contact isolation when a CNA performed incontinence care and pulled up the resident’s clean brief and pants without removing or changing gloves, then transferred the resident to their wheelchair.
Levin & Perconti Can Help
The attorneys at Levin & Perconti are nationally recognized experts in nursing home abuse law. We have the experience and knowledge you need on your side if you’ve suffered abuse at Generations at Peoria or another Illinois nursing home. We know all the ins and outs of nursing home abuse law and can win the verdict or settlement you deserve. If you want help from the pros, click or call Levin & Perconti at 888-424-5757 any time for a free consultation and we’ll get started.
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.