Generations at Riverview
If you have a loved one living in a nursing home, your worst nightmare is that they will come to some harm there. Anyone can have an accident anywhere, but your fear is probably about abuse. It’s difficult to entrust strangers with the care of a vulnerable family member, and all the reports indicate that nursing home abuse is on the rise in the US.
As it turns out, you may have more reason to worry about nursing home abuse if your relative is female. It has long been known that women are more likely to be victims of assault and abuse at some point in their lives than men, and that risk does not decline as they age. While most abusers are a woman’s male family member or friend, women are also more likely to be abused in a nursing home.
There are a number of reasons why women are more likely to suffer nursing home abuse. First, they are smaller than men and thus easier to victimize. They are easier to hurt and less able to fight back. This is especially true of elderly women whose frailty makes them even more vulnerable than when they were younger. Their smaller bodies may also be more susceptible to the dangers of medical malpractice, such as receiving the wrong dosage of medicine.
Like younger women or elderly women receiving care at home, women in nursing homes suffer sexual abuse disproportionately to men. Again, they are easier targets. They are also less likely to report sexual abuse than younger women, perhaps due to generational attitudes, fear of their abuser, or poor cognitive and communication functions. Unfortunately, older women are more likely to sustain more serious injuries from sexual assault than younger women, especially if they do not receive immediate medical attention.
A third factor that contributes to female nursing home abuse is their longer life expectancy. Because women live longer, they are more likely than men to live in a nursing home and to live in one longer. Data shows that 52% of women and only 33% of men will require nursing home services during their lifetime, and at last count, 66% of current nursing home residents were women. The longer an individual is in nursing home care, the more chance they have of being abused there.
Finally, as mentioned above, many women never report abuse, which allows it to continue. It is estimated that only 1 in 13 cases of nursing home abuse across the board gets reported. But female nursing home residents seem even less likely to report abuse than men.
It’s hard to say why, but they may fear retaliation more, have had experiences of not being believed before, feel distrustful of law enforcement or the legal system, worry about being shamed or blamed, suffer from poor mental health, worry that their pain will be felt by loved ones, or feel societal pressures to “not be a bother.” The loss of control of one’s life while living in nursing home care may further exacerbate these feelings.
While plenty of men suffer all types of abuse in nursing homes too, some factors put women more at risk. Most nursing homes do a good job of protecting all of their residents from the dangers of abuse, but as reports of nursing home abuse rise across the country, it’s obvious that many others do not.
It often falls to families to help protect their loved ones–male and female–living in nursing homes from neglect and abuse. Recognizing some of the risk factors, such as those that make women more vulnerable, can help.
Preventing Nursing Home Abuse
Many risk factors that increase a resident’s chances of abuse can’t be helped, but some environmental ones can, such as what nursing home they move into. You may assume that they’re all basically the same and that abuse is a random event that can happen anywhere. While it’s true nursing home abuse can happen at any facility, some facilities foster an environment where abuse is more likely to occur and not be dealt with effectively.
Nursing homes who have poor staffing and healthcare practices and are generally mismanaged are more likely to see cases of abuse. Either the staff are too overworked or not properly trained to handle the rigors of elder care, or the facility fails to perform adequate background checks. The nursing home may also not have proper policies in place that prioritize good healthcare and sanitation practices. All of this creates a volatile situation where abuse and neglect can occur.
To reduce the chance that your loved one is abused, avoid moving them into these kinds of nursing homes. You can learn what you need to know about a nursing home’s performance by looking it up on medicare.org. Medicare inspects US nursing homes every year and rates them based on things such as quality measures, staffing, and health inspections. The higher a facility’s rating, the better its performance and the safer it is.
Medicare also shares its health inspection findings with the public. You can read the details of health citations for the last few years of any nursing home on medicare.org. Pay attention to the number of citations and their severity. Almost every facility will have some citations, but not all citations are created equal. Some are easy mistakes that most nursing homes face from time to time while others are related to abuse and can cause residents real harm.
When picking a nursing home for a loved one, compare the ratings and health inspection reports found on medicare.org. You can also do further research online or call your local long-term care ombudsman or state licensing agency for more information about the performance of nursing homes in your community. Your relative’s doctor or the local senior activities center may have a list of additional resources too.
Levin & Perconti wants you to know that victims of nursing home abuse and their families are never at fault for abuse. You can never completely remove the risk of elder abuse in nursing homes. We merely encourage you to be informed and do your due diligence in picking a highly rated nursing home.
In fact, to help you do so, we share the information for Illinois nursing homes from Medicare on our own website for your quick reference. Levin & Perconti wants all nursing home residents to be safe and never face the trauma of elder abuse.
About Generations at Riverview
500 Centennial Dr.
East Peoria, IL 61611
Generations at Riverview is a rehabilitation and post-acute care and senior living facility that has 71 Medicare-certified beds. Healthcare services include 24-hour skilled nursing, memory care, would care, oxygen and other therapies, pain management, hospice services, and more.
Generations at Riverview received a Below Average health inspection rating, Above Average staffing rating, and Below Average quality measures rating. Combined, these ratings equal a mere overall Average rating for the facility.
The Below Average health inspection rating is especially troubling and can be better understood by reading recent health inspection reports. The latest report is available for viewing on medicare.org. A sample of the health citations is also found below.
9/21/2018 Failure to create and put into place a plan for meeting the resident’s most immediate needs within 48 hours of being admitted. The facility failed to include smoking and treatment for swollen legs on the care plans for two newly admitted residents. The first resident complained they had not been allowed to smoke since admittance the month before. The nurse who performed the admission evaluation had failed to document the resident’s need to smoke. A second resident was admitted with swollen legs but treatment for the swelling was not included in the resident’s care plan and their legs were still swollen three weeks later.
9/21/2018 Failure to provide enough food/fluids to maintain a resident’s health. The facility failed to reweight a resident to verify significant weight loss. The resident lost almost 10 pounds in a period of a month, but there was no documentation of a reweigh to determine if there was a discrepancy in the documentation or an underlying medical issue.
9/21/2018 Failure to ensure that residents are free from significant medication errors. Staff failed to administer prescribed medications to two residents, which resulted in both experiencing pain. One resident’s medicated patches ran out and not reordered in time, leaving the resident in pain. Notes for the second resident’s medication refill were not transcribed on time so staff began giving half doses of the painkiller to the resident until the refill arrived. The resident complained of waking to severe pain at night.
Levin & Perconti Is Here to Help
Have you or a loved one suffered abuse or neglect at Generations at Riverview or another Illinois nursing home? If so, Levin & Perconti can help. Our attorneys are nationally recognized experts in nursing home abuse law. We are ready to take on any nursing home abuse case.
If you are ready to fight for your rights, click or call Levin & Perconti at 888-424-5757 any time for a free consultation and the help you need.
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.