Heartland Nursing Center
If you are planning to move a loved one into assisted living or already have a family member living in a senior care facility, the possibility that they could be abused has probably crossed your mind.
Understanding And Recognizing Nursing Home Abuse
You have every right to be concerned. As many as a quarter of all nursing home residents will experience abuse during their residency. It is also believed that only 1 in 14 incidents of abuse are reported, so the true number of victims could be much higher.
These numbers may be frightening, but it’s important to understand that very few nursing home employees are looking to hurt vulnerable residents. Most cases of abuse or neglect are unintentional, with roots in high stress and few resources, rather than a stereotypical predatory staff member attacking residents. The majority of nursing home caregivers intend on giving compassionate, professional care when they take the job. The problem often lies in how the nursing home is managed.
Caregiving is a physically and emotionally demanding job that requires adequate support from superiors in order to be done successfully. Unfortunately, this is often the opposite of what happens. Too many Illinois nursing homes are understaffed, putting undue pressure on the relatively few employees. Often staff are given tasks they are not trained or qualified to perform, putting even more pressure on them. Add to that long hours and poor pay, and you have a recipe for discontent and burn out.
When caregivers are overworked and underappreciated, they naturally begin making mistakes or using poor judgement. They become apathetic or even volatile. This can happen in any industry, but it’s especially dangerous in a nursing home setting where these stressed out employees are working with vulnerable individuals whose very lives depend on them. When nursing homes don’t do enough to support staff or take measures to keep their workload reasonable, previously kind professionals forget themselves and the consequences are most often felt by the residents.
By now you may be wondering if seeking nursing home care is worth it. What’s the point of placing a dependent adult in the care of others who will only hurt them? Rest assured, most nursing home staff continue to provide compassionate, responsible care throughout their careers. However, to reduce the risk of a loved one coming to harm in assisted living, you should take care when choosing their nursing home.
Choosing a Nursing Home
There are multiple steps that go into finding and selecting a nursing home, all of which, if done correctly, can help you decrease the likelihood that your family member will come to some harm. Your goal is to find a facility with a proven record of quality, safe care due to adequate staffing and abuse-prevention policies. It may seem impossible to truly know how well a nursing home succeeds in these areas, but Levin & Perconti has some tips to help you.
Begin by compiling a list of nursing homes in your area so you know what you’re working with. This can be done by asking friends for suggestions, speaking to a geriatric doctor, calling a local community senior center, or performing a simple online search. Once you have your list, it’s time to start researching. Throw out any that don’t offer the specific services and amenities you need, then move on to looking for proof that the remaining ones promote safe environments.
To do this, Levin & Perconti suggests using Medicare’s nursing home compare webpage on medicare.org. Here you can see how Medicare rates your area’s nursing homes. Highly rated nursing homes are those that perform best when it comes to things like quality measures, staffing, and health inspections.
Lower ratings indicate struggling facilities that are best avoided. Medicare also publishes its health inspection reports so you can see the specific flaws of the nursing homes you are considering. We advise avoiding facilities with a higher than average number of health citations or that show signs of lacking good abuse-prevention protocols.
Researching nursing homes on medicare.org should help you narrow down your choices to a select few. Focus on learning more about these. The best way to do that next is to tour each of them so you can see what they are like in person. An actual place can look very different than pretty pictures online! Pay attention to how well-maintained the facility is, how it smells and feels, and how well residents and staff interact. You can learn a lot from looking at people’s demeanors, body language, and tones in a caregiving setting.
Tours like this are also the best time to ask questions. Bring a list with questions about things that are important to you. Include questions about staff to resident ratios, staff qualifications and turnover, and how the facility prevents and handles abuse. Ask for a copy of their grievance policy so you can see how easy or difficult it is to file a complaint. Finally, ask permission to speak to residents about their experiences, if appropriate.
This might seem like a lot of effort, but the decision of what nursing home to trust with a loved one’s care shouldn’t be taken lightly. You never want to find out that they were being mistreated, so do your best now to set them up for a successful nursing home experience by doing your due diligence in finding the best performing facility you can.
Levin & Perconti knows what nursing home abuse can do to victims and their families. It is heartbreaking. We’ve seen it all too often in the cases we handle, cases such as:
- Unauthorized Physical and/or Chemical Restraint Use
- Physical Abuse
- Alzheimer’s and Dementia Patients
- Falls, Improper Transfers, Drops by Staff
- Medication Errors
- Wandering and Elopement from facilities
- Pressure Sores
- Clogged Breathing Tubes
- Sepsis and Other Infections
- Malnutrition and/or Dehydration
- Physical or Sexual Assault or Abuse
We want you to have the best chance at finding a reputable nursing home for your family members. That’s why in addition to these tips, we also share information taken from medicare.org about specific Illinois nursing homes like Heartland Nursing Center. We hope this gives you one additional resource to use in your search for a safe, caring nursing home.
About Heartland Nursing Center
410 NW 3rd St.
Casey, IL 62420
Heartland Nursing Center is a skilled nursing care facility with 81 Medicare-certified beds. The location offers hospice services, a variety of therapies, short-term rehabilitation services, and adult day care.
Medicare gives Heartland Nursing Center an Average health inspection rating, Below Average staffing rating, and Below Average quality measures rating. Together these ratings earn Heartland Nursing Center an Average overall rating.
The facility’s Average health inspection rating is due to its near average number of health citations and complaints. You can read the full details of recent health inspection reports on medicare.org. A sample is also found below.
11/02/2018 Failure to develop and implement policies and procedures to prevent abuse, neglect, and theft. The facility failed to follow their abuse policy by not terminating and reporting alleged perpetrators to the Certified Nurse Aid registry. Two CNAs were documented as being verbally abusive towards a resident. They were counseled about the abuse and reassigned to a different area of the facility, but not terminated or reported to the CNA registry. The facility administrator stated they did not terminate or report them because their statements were derogatory but not abusive.
11/02/2018 Failure to ensure therapeutic diets are prescribed by the attending physician and may be delegated to a registered or licensed dietitian, to the extent allowed by State law. The facility failed to follow physician’s orders for therapeutic diets for five residents. A cook forgot to serve four of the residents their pureed bread during one lunch period. Residents on a low concentrated sweets diet were also mistakenly served regular pudding instead of low- or no-sugar pudding.
11/02/2018 Failure to make sure that the nursing home area is safe, easy to use, clean and comfortable for residents, staff and the public. The facility created an electrical hazard in an outdoor facility sitting area. An electrical extension cord was observed dangling from the building roof outside of the main entrance doors and running along wet ground across a walkway and to a sitting area. An electronic voltage tester confirmed the cord was energized and capable of accidentally electrocuting residents or other individuals. The maintenance director stated that staff must have forgotten to disconnect the cord from its power source when they unplugged a decorative water fountain from it.
Levin & Perconti is Here to Help
Despite your best efforts, nursing home abuse can occur anywhere, even in the best of nursing homes. If you or a loved one have suffered personal harm or injury at Heartland Nursing Center or another Illinois nursing home, Levin & Perconti can help. The best way to stop abusive nursing homes is to hold them accountable.
We work with our clients every step of the way to ensure their voice is heard and they receive the compensation they are entitled to for their suffering. To date, we’ve won over $160 million in nursing home abuse verdicts and settlements and we can win for you too. All you have to do is contact us online or call Levin & Perconti at 888-424-5757 today 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 the 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.