Heartland of Moline
When you hear about nursing home abuse, who do you imagine as the abuser? Most people would assume it’s a villainous professional caretaker who misuses their power to prey on defenseless, trusting seniors.
Identifying Signs of Abuse
Nursing home staff members do get a bad rap these days thanks to sensational news reports. While many of these reports are true, you might be surprised to learn that a fair amount of nursing home abuse is actually committed by other residents.
Abuse is any intentional act that causes the victim physical or psychological harm. It shouldn’t be too surprising that occasionally nursing home residents act out against one another. Many people lose control in situations where they must live with many different strangers, and nursing home life can be especially stressful for elderly individuals with diminished capacity due to failing health and dementia. According to one study, as many as 20% of nursing home residents were involved in some sort of altercation with one or more other residents during a four-week period.
Resident-on-resident abuse is as varied as abuse inflicted by caregivers. It can be as minor as taking someone’s food without asking or calling them a rude name and as extreme as causing injury through physical or sexual assault.
The stereotype of a nursing home resident is a frail, disabled individual, but some residents still have a fair amount of strength and mobility. We must also remember that most nursing homes also serve temporary residents who are recovering from an illness or surgery and will regain their strength while in residence. Almost any nursing home resident has the potential to become abusive in one way or another.
But what role do the nursing homes themselves play in this type of abuse? Every nursing home has the responsibility to protect residents from abuse, even if that means protecting them from each other.
Technically, there is no difference between caregiver-on-resident abuse and resident-on-resident abuse in a nursing home setting. Either way, the nursing home is culpable because the facility is responsible for addressing problematic behaviors to prevent them from escalating into a dangerous situation.
Addressing potentially abusive behaviors involves many things. The first step is to be vigilant in observing problematic behaviors and triggers and documenting them. The second step is putting interventions in place to manage these behaviors. Examples of interventions might include adjusting a medication dosage, changing roommates who don’t get along, or supervising a resident more closely, among other things. Communicating these interventions to caregivers and providing appropriate training for staff so they know how to recognize abusive situations and de-escalate them is vital.
When families or individuals are looking for a nursing home, they should be aware of the possibility of resident-on-resident abuse. While you can’t control the actions of another individual, you can look for a nursing home that follows best practices for preventing such abuse, such as training staff to manage problematic behaviors and being vigilant in documenting behaviors and interventions. Nursing homes that take abuse of all kinds seriously are the safest choice when you or a loved one requires nursing home care.
Picking a Safe Nursing Home
When picking a nursing home, you want one that provides the best possible care and protects its residents from dangerous people, whether they be caregivers or other residents. But how can you be sure that any nursing home you look at does this?
Well, you can never be 100% sure that you or a family member will never come to some harm, but you can do thorough research beforehand to find a nursing home where abuse is less likely to happen.
Levin & Perconti has spent decades fighting for the rights of nursing home abuse victims. We know this type of abuse can cause real harm to individuals and heartbreak for their families. We’ve handled all sorts of cases, including those 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
We encourage families and individuals to do their due diligence in picking a nursing home that takes the safety of residents seriously. We have found that medicare.org is an excellent resource to help you do this. Medicare publishes information here that will help you find high-performing nursing homes that have proven to provide appropriate care for residents and prevent abuse.
Every year Medicare assesses certified nursing homes and grades them on categories such as health inspections, staffing, and quality measures. Each category receives one of five ratings ranging from Much Below Average to Much Above Average. An average of these ratings is then taken to award each nursing home an overall rating from the same scale.
When you research prospective nursing homes, compare their Medicare ratings for a quick way to filter out the poorest performing facilities and identify the best ones. The overall ratings are the easiest way to discern between bad and good nursing homes, but also pay attention to the health inspection and staffing ratings. These will specifically indicate what quality of care residents are receiving at a nursing home. Too few staff or too many health citations are red flags when it comes to nursing home care.
Medicare also publishes recent health inspection reports on its website. Almost every nursing home will have some citations, but you can read the reports to see how many and how severe the citations are.
A nursing home with fewer than average citations that appear to be mere accidents or isolated incidents is preferable to a nursing home with more than the average number of citations and/or citations that indicate outright abuse and neglect or the lack of proper procedures and policies to prevent abuse.
We hope you’ll be able to use the information on medicare.org to help you choose a safe, reputable nursing home. Levin & Perconti has seen what can happen to residents in poor-performing nursing homes, and we want Illinois residents to know there are ways to avoid those situations. That’s why to further help you find the best nursing homes in your area, we share information taken from medicare.org on our own website for Illinois nursing homes, like Heartland of Moline, so you have one more resource to reference.
It’s just our small way of helping you prevent the tragedy of nursing home abuse in your family and community. No one should ever feel fear or suffer harm in a caregiving setting like a nursing home, and Levin & Perconti is committed to doing what we can to stop nursing home abuse in Illinois.
About Heartland of Moline
833 16th Ave.
Moline, IL 61265
Heartland of Moline has 149 Medicare-certified beds for both long- and short-term residents. The facility provides post-hospital nursing care for residents recuperating with the goal of returning home as well as daily assistance and medical care for long-term residents.
Heartland of Moline receives an Average overall rating from Medicare thanks to mixed ratings in the individual categories Medicare grades nursing homes on. For Heartland of Moline, those would be a Much Above Average quality measures rating, Average staffing rating, and Below Average health inspection rating.
The Below Average health inspection rating alone is enough reason to be concerned about the quality of care found at this facility. You can take a closer look at what warrants this low rating by reading the full health inspection report on medicare.org or a sample of the report below.
1/10/2019 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 prevent multiple incidents of resident to resident abuse that affected four residents. Abuse allegation investigations documented four separate occasions when a resident physically attacked other residents. She slapped one resident with no signs of agitation, beat up a second resident, slapped the first resident on his arm and chest, and threatened to slap a third resident on the cheek and did. Staff’s reaction was to separate the perpetrator from others each time a medicine change was documented once.
1/10/2019 Failure to develop the complete care plan within 7 days of the comprehensive assessment; and prepared, reviewed, and revised by a team of health professionals. The facility failed to revise a behavioral care plan for two residents with troubling behaviors. One resident’s electronic care plan was not updated to include that they were experiencing an altered mental status, hallucinations, and delusions, nor that they were receiving medication as treatment. A second resident was identified as wandering in and out of others’ rooms, but his electronic care plan did not address this behavior or how to address it.
1/10/2019 Failure to ensure each resident must receive and the facility must provide necessary behavioral health care and services. The facility failed to provide an individualized plan of care for a resident with a developmental disorder. A resident was observed on multiple days sitting in her wheelchair or lying in bed alone rocking back and forth, grunting/groaning, and spitting. She was observed to receive no staff or visitor interaction besides incontinent care and had no tv or radio on. She is documented as mentally retarded since birth and can do mild activities and understand simple commands but is nonverbal. Family is documented as encouraging staff to take her to activities, but there was no documentation addressing her official diagnosis and staff were unaware that she should participate in activities. Staff noted she is often combative or hits and scratches herself, and they did not have the training to address such behaviors. It was confirmed there was no behavior monitoring or care plan for her behaviors related to her condition.
Levin & Perconti, Nursing Home Abuse Law Experts
If you or a relative have suffered harm in an abusive or negligent nursing home, you need the experts on your side. Levin & Perconti handle all types of nursing home abuse cases and are nationally recognized experts in nursing home abuse law. We will guide you every step of the way and fight for your rights.
To date, we’ve won over $160 million in settlements and verdicts for our clients. If you’re ready to win the justice you deserve, 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 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.