Heritage Health Litchfield
About 1.5 million Americans live in assisted living, with an influx of more aging Americans expected to enter in the next few decades. While assisted living is vital to improving the quality of life and general well-being of many senior citizens who can no longer live independently, it is not without its risks. As many as 1 in 3 nursing home residents will suffer abuse at some point in their residency, with many more suffering in silence as their abuse goes unreported.
For individuals anticipating needing some sort of late life care in the approaching future, nursing home abuse is a real concern. Luckily, most assisted living facilities do successfully provide the medical care and assistance with daily living activities we’ve come to expect from them. It just may become more difficult to separate the good nursing homes from the bad as more and more facilities suffer from staffing shortages, underfunding, poor government oversight, and overcrowding.
Levin & Perconti wants to help you do just that. As nationally recognized leaders in nursing home abuse and neglect law, Levin & Perconti understands the importance of selecting a safe, trustworthy nursing home for yourself or a loved one. We’ve seen the worst of the worst in assisted living facilities and have handled nursing home abuse cases of all varieties, including those involving:
- Unauthorized Physical and/or Chemical Restraint Use
- Verbal 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
Through our work with nursing home abuse victims and their families, we’ve observed that, more often than not, the most problematic nursing homes with poor Medicare ratings and health inspection findings are also those where abuse is most likely to occur.
We’ve made it our goal to protect individuals from this kind of abuse by helping them research what life is like in their local nursing homes so they can avoid struggling facilities and pick one that has proven capable of providing responsible, high quality care. We do this by sharing information from Medicare about specific Illinois nursing homes, like Heritage Health Litchfield, and tips on how to compare nursing homes in your area so you can find the good ones and weed out the bad.About Heritage Health Litchfield
628 South Illinois Street
Litchfield, IL 62056
Heritage Health Litchfield is a Medicare-certified facility with 92 beds. This is a supported living facility that offers residents private studio or one-bedroom apartments for independent living with caregivers available any time support is needed.
Medicare gives Heritage Health Litchfield a good Above Average rating on medicare.gov. This rating is a combination of three separate categories with mixed ratings: a Much Above Average quality measures rating, a Below Average staffing rating, and an Average health inspection rating.
Mixed ratings like these can make comparisons to other facilities a little more difficult. That’s why Levin & Perconti always recommends looking at the health inspection reports also found on medicare.gov for further insight into life at a nursing home. Below are the deficiencies found during the last health inspection at Heritage Health Litchfield.
1/31/2018 Failure to reasonably accommodate the needs and preferences of each resident. The facility was found to have failed to keep a resident’s call light within reach. Instead the call light was wrapped around a wall mount where the resident could not reach it from their bed or wheelchair.
1/31/2018 Failure to procure food from sources approved or considered satisfactory and store, prepare, distribute and serve food in accordance with professional standards. Staff failed to follow safe food handling practices during meal service to prevent the spread of infection to six residents. Two staff members were observed buttering and serving bread to the residents without changing gloves in between serving individual residents.Picking the Best Nursing Home
Picking a nursing home facility with a record of high-quality care and proper protocol is the best way to protect residents from nursing home abuse. Facilities who are awarded high Medicare ratings with the health inspections to back them up can usually be assumed to be safe for vulnerable residents who expect and deserve nothing less than consistently responsible, dignified care.
To find such an excellent nursing home, start by identifying facilities in your area. You can ask for recommendations from family and acquaintances, doctors, or social workers, or look them up online. There may also be community authorities or groups who can help you, such as your local senior and community activity center or a government program that supports senior citizens.
Once you’ve identified these facilities, research each one so you can compare them in detail and weigh their pros and cons. Find ratings and inspection reports on medicare.gov and look up resident reviews or news stories about each facility elsewhere online. You can also try calling your local long-term care ombudsman, state health department, or state licensing agency and ask if they have additional information on the facilities you’re considering.
Don’t fall for good marketing ploys when looking at company websites for nursing homes. These sites can help you learn more about their services and amenities and give you their location and contact information, but every facility is going to call itself “the best” and can’t be relied on for an unbiased view of itself. Always let neutral resources inform your research.
Through your research you should be able to narrow your options down to the best few. These facilities are worth touring in person to get a feel for what they’re really like. On your visit, note how clean the facility is, how friendly the staff appear, and how you feel in general. It’s recommended that you bring a list of questions with you about the services you’ll need, the ratio of staff to residents, staff qualifications, policies for filing complaints, and anything else that is important to you. Don’t feel that you can only ask questions on the tour. If more come to you, call or visit again.
After all of this research you should be prepared to confidently pick a facility that meets all of your needs and offers an obviously safe and comfortable environment. However, don’t fall prey to complacency from now on. Even the best nursing homes can still have isolated cases of abuse or neglect now and then, so you must remain vigilant after selecting a facility.
When you or a family member moves into assisted living, agree to stay in close contact and have frequent visits. It is proven that residents who are isolated from loved ones are at higher risk for abuse, and many residents struggle to report abuse without outside help. Both residents and loved ones should learn to identify the signs of neglect and abuse so you are prepared to report it if necessary. There are many signs, but here are the most common:
- 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
- Wrong type or the wrong amount of medication administered
- Poor hygiene or unwashed clothes or hair
- 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
Hopefully it never happens, but if you or a loved one ever suspects or experiences abuse at a nursing home, take action immediately. Start by following the facility’s procedures for filing a complaint, and contact someone with authority such as a staff supervisor or the facility administrator. They should listen to you with all seriousness and take prompt action to rectify the situation and prevent it from happening again.
However, sometimes poor management lies at the root of nursing home abuse, so if the administrator fails to take proper corrective action, you should seek outside help from a doctor, a state agency, or your local long-term care ombudsman.
Tragically, nursing home abuse can cause serious harm, injury, and even death to vulnerable residents. If this is your experience with nursing home abuse, you also have the option of seeking legal aid.Levin & Perconti Can Help
If you or a loved one have fallen victim to an abusive nursing home, know that you have rights under Illinois law. Levin & Perconti have the experience and expertise to fight for your rights like we have for hundreds of other nursing home abuse victims.
We have won millions of dollars in settlements and verdicts for our clients and can win for you too. If you’re ready to seek justice for yourself or a family member, click or call Levin & Perconti at 888-424-5757 today to get started with a free consultation.
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.