Heritage Health Bloomington
If you’ve paid attention to the news in recent years, you might have seen headlines about tragic cases of abuse in nursing homes. Usually, the media focuses on more violent forms of abuse, but abuse can be much more passive–and difficult to spot–when it comes in the form of neglect.
While less sensational than physical assaults, neglect is just as dangerous to vulnerable nursing home residents who must rely on others for every aspect of their personal care. Failure to properly feed, wash, toilet, groom, exercise, medicate, monitor, or provide other necessary daily care for disabled residents is a leading cause of personal harm and injury to elderly individuals living in assisted living. These residents have little recourse when their caregivers fail to meet standard necessities of care and begin to suffer.
Neglect is extremely common in nursing homes. It usually occurs when caregivers are unable to give adequate attention to individual needs in crowded facilities due to constraints on staffing resources. Either there aren’t enough employees to meet every resident’s needs, or the employees are not qualified to meet more specialized needs, such as vital medical care. In these conditions, it is easy and common for mistakes to be made and gaps in care to be overlooked.
So how do you ensure this doesn’t happen to a loved one in assisted living? Levin & Perconti has the answer. In our years of prosecuting negligent nursing homes, we’ve noticed that those with the poorest Medicare ratings tend to be the ones with fewer staff members and higher rates of health inspection deficiencies and complaints.
That’s why we share public information about these ratings with families like yours, so you can pick a highly-rated, safer facility for your relative where they have the best chance of receiving exceptional, attentive care.
About Heritage Health Bloomington
700 East Walnut
Bloomington, IL 61701
Heritage Health Bloomington offers long-term assisted living and short-term respite and hospice care. Their services include physical, occupational, and speech therapies, as well as a variety of skilled nursing services. The facility has 88 certified beds.
Medicare gives Heritage Health Bloomington an excellent overall rating of Much Above Average. The facility also received Much Above Average ratings for staffing and quality measures. However, its health inspection rating is merely Average.
Levin & Perconti advise families to always look at the public health inspection records available for Medicare-certified nursing homes to learn what specific deficiencies a facility has struggled with most recently. The following are a few of the deficiencies found during a health inspection at Heritage Health Bloomington:
12/6/18 Failure to provide safe and appropriate respiratory care for a resident when needed. A resident was found to be receiving a lower flow rate of oxygen from their oxygen tank than had been ordered by a doctor. This was against the facility’s oxygen policy and procedure documents and put the resident at risk of respiratory distress.
12/6/18 Failure to provide and implement an infection prevention and control program. A nurse was observed putting away a resident’s insulin vial without performing hand hygiene after checking the resident’s blood glucose level and administering the insulin. This goes against facility policy to wash hands after contact with any body fluids.
12/6/18 Failure to try different approaches before using a bed rail. If a bed rail is needed, the facility must (1) assess a resident for safety risk; (2) review these risks and benefits
with the resident/representative; (3) get informed consent; and (4) Correctly install and maintain the bed rail. Paperwork for five residents was missing details such as if alternatives for bed rails were tried, if a physician had ordered bed rails, and if residents had been educated on the risks of bed rails.
Protecting Nursing Home Residents from Neglect
The majority of nursing home staff do not seek to cause harm to residents, but neglect still occurs when caregivers are overworked or expected to perform tasks outside of their training. This is when accidents happen and important details are overlooked, leading to dire consequences for residents. Luckily family members can reduce much of the risks of nursing home neglect by practicing due diligence.
Begin by thoroughly researching Medicare ratings and other information about the nursing homes in your community before picking one. Don’t settle for any facility that doesn’t show proof of having high standards of service. To further assess the quality of care at these locations, tour them yourself and ask questions about staff qualifications, ratios of staff members to residents, and how they handle reports of abuse.
When you’ve found the best option for your family member, it’s still up to you to monitor their well-being once they’re settled in. Visit them often to ensure they continue to receive proper care. Studies show that residents who are isolated from friends and family are the most likely to suffer abuse, so you are your loved one’s first line of defense.
Additionally, many nursing home residents are incapable of reporting abuse themselves and will need your help if they ever come to harm. This means you will need to be able to recognize possible abuse. There are many signs of abuse, but here are some of the most common ones to look for:
- 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
If you become aware of any abuse or neglect of your loved one in a nursing home, report it immediately to the facility administration. It helps to document what you or your relative have experienced so you can keep the details straight. Management should be quick to address your concerns and take action to fix the situation and prevent further incidence. However, if they react to your report defensively or fail to take any effective action, you may need to seek legal help to protect your family member.
Levin & Perconti Can Help
Levin & Perconti is a leading law firm when it comes to handling nursing home abuse cases in Illinois.
If your loved one has suffered a personal injury at Heritage Health Bloomington or another Illinois nursing home, Levin & Perconti is here to help. We have the expertise to answer all of your questions and help you build a case. We have a proven record of winning settlements and verdicts for our clients, and we can win for you too. If you are ready to seek justice for a victim of nursing home abuse, click or call Levin & Perconti at 888-424-5757 any time 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 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.