Heartland of Galesburg
If you’re planning on entrusting a loved one’s care to an Illinois nursing home in the near future, don’t settle for just anyone. Illinois has some of the highest rates of nursing home abuse in the country. Every year, the Illinois Department of Public Health receives approximately 19,000 reports of nursing home abuse, and those are just the known cases. It is estimated that only 1 in 14 cases of nursing home abuse are reported, meaning the true rate of incidence is really much, much higher.
Common Issues in Nursing Homes
This doesn’t mean you should eschew nursing homes completely. Many provide excellent, compassionate care. It only means you should be more discerning in your choice of facility and understand the risk factors that increase the likelihood of abuse.
For instance, residents are more likely to suffer abuse and neglect in nursing homes that are understaffed. Overworked staff make dangerous mistakes, cut corners, or take out their frustrations on defenseless residents. Abuse is also more common when caregivers lack necessary qualifications and training. Many nursing homes hire cheaper CNAs to replace skilled nurses, but that means they don’t always have the proper expertise to treat and interact with residents appropriately.
Another issue occurs when nursing homes do not have appropriate abuse and neglect prevention procedures in place. Most staff will not purposely harm elderly residents, but if they are not trained in best practices to promote resident safety, they may inadvertently hurt someone.
Nursing homes should have a variety of policies in place to prevent illness and injury with proper transferring techniques, sanitation, ulcer pressure care, respiratory care, and more. Staff should also be trained to keep proper documentation of health issues, accidents, and interventions so resident care plans are kept up-to-date and carried out.
Finally, nursing homes should make it easy to report abuse. They should train staff to report signs of abuse and give residents and their families copies of their grievance procedure in case they have a complaint. There should also be a standard procedure for investigating abuse, reporting it to local authorities, and terminating perpetrators, with management showing a strong commitment to following through. Abuse is less likely to happen if predators know there are consequences for their actions.
If you want to do all you can to prevent a family member from suffering abuse or neglect in a nursing home, start by picking a nursing home that does all it can to create a safe environment. Of course, they all will say that they do that, so you need to look for proof. That means looking for demonstrations and results of having enough trained staff and comprehensive policies for the care and protection of residents. This might sound hard, impossible even, but Levin & Perconti has found that if you do your research, it can be relatively easy.
Finding a Safe Nursing Home
All it takes is some thoughtful research to pick out a reputable nursing home— you just have to know where to look for your information. Levin & Perconti likes to keep tabs on the quality of care provided at Illinois nursing homes, so we do this exact kind of research periodically. We’ve found Medicare’s nursing home compare website on medicare.org to be an easy way to quickly assess which nursing homes are good and which are questionable.
Every year, Medicare grades US nursing homes according to their performance in three categories: health inspections, staffing, and quality measures. Each category gets rated Much Below Average, Below Average, Average, Above Average, or Much Above Average. Every nursing home also gets a cumulative overall rating using the same scale. These ratings are a simple way to tell how well prospective nursing homes are living up to their promises of high-quality caregiving. Highly rated nursing homes are your best bet for finding a safe nursing home.
In addition to Medicare’s ratings, you can also find recent health inspection reports on the same website. These reports list all of the infractions a nursing home has been cited for during inspections and can give you specific details about what flaws a facility struggles with.
Such information can help you better understand why certain ratings were earned and decide between nursing homes that are rated similarly. Pay attention to the number of citations and their severity. Almost all nursing homes have a few citations, but steer clear of the ones with a higher than average number of them or ones that show patterns that promote abuse and neglect.
The information on medicare.org will help you narrow your choices to those nursing homes that are most likely to provide high-quality care. We also suggest scheduling tours of these facilities to see which one you like best for yourself, but we hope these tips set you up for a successful search. We believe in helping every family find a nursing home they trust. That’s why with our tips we also share information taken from medicare.org on our own site to give you easy access to what you need to know about Illinois nursing homes, such as Heartland of Galesburg.
About Heartland of Galesburg
280 E Losey St.
Galesburg, IL 61401
Heartland of Galesburg is a small nursing home with 84 Medicare-certified beds. The facility provides three levels of care: short-term, long-term, and outpatient rehabilitation. Residents at all levels receive skilled nursing care and a variety of therapies and other medical services.
Medicare gives Heartland of Galesburg a Much Above Average quality measures rating, Average staffing rating, and Below Average health inspection rating. Combined, these mixed ratings earn the facility an overall rating of Average.
It’s concerning that the Heartland of Galesburg’s lowest individual rating is for health inspections. This is due to having more than the average number of health citations and complaints. You can read the most recent health inspection reports on medicare.org or a sample of citations below.
1/03/2019 Failure to ensure that nurses and nurse aides have the appropriate competencies to care for every resident in a way that maximizes each resident’s well-being. Staff left a resident with limited mobility alone in a chair with his pants around his ankles, resulting in a fall. The resident was found on the floor with an overturned bedside table and his pants around his ankles. Attending CNAs had to be told to not walk away from residents when clothing is left in a way that restricted their movements.
12/14/2018 Failure to provide appropriate treatment and care according to orders, resident’s preferences and goals. The facility failed to apply all necessary collar pads to a neck brace for one resident. The resident was to wear the neck collar while lying in bed for recovery from a broken vertebra. A family member stated that staff did not know how to put on the collar correctly. It had been observed as being on upside down, backward, or on too high. One of the collar’s pads was missing and hard plastic and fasteners were against the resident’s skin and face.
12/14/2018 Failure to provide appropriate pressure ulcer care and prevent new ulcers from developing. The facility failed to apply a boot and offloading interventions for a resident at risk for pressure ulcers. The resident’s physician’s orders prescribed a boot to reduce friction while in bed, but the resident was observed twice in bed without the boot. The resident stated they thought their boot had been lost in the laundry.
Levin & Perconti Will Help
Unfortunately, no matter how much effort you put into finding an exceptional nursing home, abuse can still happen. That’s what the attorneys at Levin & Perconti are here for. We’ve worked with victims of all types of nursing home abuse, 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
If you or a family member have suffered harm of any kind at Heartland of Galesburg or another Illinois nursing home, Levin & Perconti can help you too. We are nationally recognized experts in nursing home abuse law and have won over $160 million in verdicts and settlements for our clients. If you’re ready to hold an abusive nursing home accountable for their actions, contact us online 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 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.