Heartland of Macomb
If you have a close relative who is slowing down and struggling to function independently due to old age, you may be wondering if they’re ready to move into a nursing home. The other question is, are you ready to move them into a nursing home? Depending on their cognitive abilities, it may be up to you and other relatives to find a senior care facility for your loved one. But where do you start?
Picking the Right Nursing Home
It’s not an easy decision. Many people try to make it easier by picking whatever nursing home is closest or most familiar to them. Others might look for the cheapest option or choose based on the services and amenities provided. All of these are excellent points to consider. Levin & Perconti, however, would add one more: safety.
When picking a nursing home, you want the best care possible for your family member. That includes a comfortable environment and skilled staff who know how to provide any necessary medical treatments and therapies your loved one needs. But all too often family members forget about the risks of abuse, neglect, and malpractice in nursing homes and do not take that into consideration when selecting a nursing home.
You might assume that if a nursing home is still in operation it must be a safe environment. Surely the authorities would shut down any facility that was rife with abuse. It is true that some facilities will get shut down for such a reason, but realistically most abuse is never reported, and there is relatively little oversight from the government for nursing homes in the US. Instead, it is up to families to remain vigilant about how their relatives in assisted living are treated.
Levin & Perconti hopes to give you some peace of mind by assuring you that most nursing homes do try to protect residents from all types of harm and deal with allegations of abuse swiftly. However, we can’t deny that nursing home abuse is a growing problem across the country, with the Illinois Department of Public Health receiving as many as 19,000 reports of abuse each year in Illinois alone. That’s why we want you to be aware of the possibility of nursing home abuse and know what you can do to protect your loved one.
Protecting Nursing Home Residents From Abuse
Protecting nursing home residents from abuse is primarily the nursing home’s job, but not all of them can be trusted to fulfill that responsibility, unfortunately. That is why it is important for individuals and families to search for nursing homes that will. You can’t be at your loved one’s side 24/7 to protect them, so select a nursing home that will do it for you and do their best at creating an environment where abuse is unlikely to happen in the first place.
You can find such a nursing home by doing diligent research into the quality of care demonstrated by the nursing homes in your area. To do this, Levin & Perconti suggests utilizing Medicare’s nursing home compare webpage on medicare.org. This site allows you to compare the ratings of multiple nursing homes at once. These ratings are updated by Medicare every year.
Highly rated nursing homes are those that demonstrate outstanding performance in things like quality measures, staffing, and health inspections. Abuse is less likely to occur in these respected facilities. Lower ratings indicate problems in these categories. These nursing homes should be avoided.
Medicare also publishes nursing home health inspection reports on its website so you can see the infractions facilities have been cited for. These details can help you spot otherwise highly-rated facilities that nevertheless struggle in their quality of care and identify nursing homes with patterns of problems related to abuse. Levin & Perconti advises avoiding facilities with a higher than average number of health citations or ones that show signs of lacking good abuse-prevention protocols.
We suggest using the information on Medicare to narrow your search to the best performing nursing homes, then scheduling visits to your remaining options to see which one suits you best. Request a tour and interview with the facility administrator, if possible. Pay attention to the cleanliness of each facility and environment in general. Take this opportunity to ask questions about staff to resident ratios, staff qualifications, and the facility’s grievance procedure to determine if they prioritize resident safety.
It might take you a bit of work to research and visit enough nursing homes to select one with confidence, but you will be grateful you took the time to find the best nursing home for your family member. We would be remiss, however, if we let you think your job is done at this point. Unfortunately, abuse can occur at even the most reputable nursing homes, so you must continue to remain vigilant.
Visit your loved one frequently when they’ve moved into their new residence. Predatory staff are less likely to victimize residents who have contact with the outside world, and visits will allow you to monitor their care and look for signs that something is wrong. Abuse comes in many different forms and so do the signs that it’s happening. To help you observe your family member better, learn some of the most common signs of abuse, such as:
- Untreated severe bedsores
- Unexplained injuries like bruises, burns, or scars
- Evidence of poor circulation like sunken cheeks or eyes
- Weight loss or malnourishment not due directly to an illness
- Frequent trips to the emergency room or doctor
- Instances of wandering or elopement
- Frequently misplaced or lost personal items
- A lack of basic necessities, including utilities, water, and food
- A dirty room or bathroom
- Frequent trouble sleeping
- Unusual violent or withdrawn behavior
- Sudden depression or confusion
- Signs of trauma like rocking back and forth
- Wrong type or the wrong amount of medication administered
- Poor hygiene or unwashed clothes or hair
If you ever suspect your loved one is being abused or neglected, say something right away. Follow the facility’s grievance procedure and notify a staff supervisor or the facility administrator. They should work with you to investigate and report the abuse to the local authorities. All precautions should be taken in the meantime to protect the victim. If abuse is found, the perpetrator should be terminated immediately.
Sometimes nursing homes try to turn a blind eye to abuse or fail to take necessary action to reasonably prevent it in the first place. The best way to stop this kind of unethical behavior is to hold irresponsible facilities accountable for their actions. If you ever find yourself ready to take this route, seek legal counsel from nursing home abuse law experts like Levin & Perconti.
In the meantime, however, we hope you can use our advice to prevent nursing home abuse from ever happening to begin with. We are confident that selecting a highly rated nursing home is one of the best ways to protect your family from nursing home abuse.
In fact, to make your nursing home research easier, we share information from Medicare for Illinois nursing homes on our own site, so you have one more place to get this valuable information. We want Illinois families to know we are here for you whether you’re selecting a nursing home for the first time or seeking justice from one that has wronged a person you love.
About Heartland of Macomb
8 Doctors Ln.
Macomb, IL 61455
Heartland of Macomb has 80 Medicare-certified beds and offers residents three levels of care: outpatient rehabilitation, short-term care, and long-term care. Residents receive comprehensive care from an interdisciplinary team of nurses, therapists, therapy assistants, dietitians, social workers, and recreation staff.
The staff at Heartland of Macomb appear to be successful in their work, as the facility earned an Above Average overall rating. It received good ratings across the board with an Above Average health inspection rating, Average staffing rating, and Above Average quality measures rating.
For more insight into this promising nursing home, you can read its health inspection reports for the last three years on medicare.org. Or you can view a sample of the last report below.
11/21/2018 Failure to ensure residents do not lose the ability to perform activities of daily living unless there is a medical reason. The facility failed to implement services to maintain and/or improve a resident’s ADLs (Activities of Daily Living). A resident’s ability for locomotion decreased over a three month period while residing in the facility. A physical therapist stated they were in the process of taking another job and forgot to develop a restorative program for the facility to implement with this resident, resulting in marked decreased mobility.
11/21/2018 Failure to provide appropriate pressure ulcer care and prevent new ulcers from developing. The facility failed to implement physician’s orders and prevent a pressure ulcer from developing and worsening on three residents. The first resident was admitted with no pressure ulcers but was documented as being at moderate risk for developing ulcers. Within two weeks the resident had developed a pressure ulcer on his foot. A doctor prescribed treatment, but staff failed to use the prescribed heel protector boots for his feet. A second resident developed a pressure ulcer on the buttocks and complained they did not receive enough assistance with repositioning and was in pain all the time. A third resident also had a pressure ulcer developed while at the facility.
11/21/2018 Failure to provide for the safe, appropriate administration of IV fluids for a resident when needed. Staff failed to check a PICC (Peripherally inserted central catheter) for blood return for a resident. A nurse was observed flushing the PICC line with normal saline without checking for blood return, then administered an antibiotic to the resident. Failing to check for blood return is against the facility’s IV therapy policy.
Levin & Perconti can Help
It’s easy to feel alone, embarrassed, or fearful when you or a family member have suffered abuse at a nursing home you trusted. Levin & Perconti is here to listen to and help you. Our attorneys are nursing home law experts who have the knowledge and experience to handle any nursing home abuse case, including but not limited to cases involving
- 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 are ready to hold a negligent nursing home accountable for the pain they have caused you, 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.