Heritage Health Gillespie
As more Americans begin entering their later years, nursing homes and similar care facilities are filling up with both short- and long-term residents. These facilities can be a blessing to adults who cannot care for themselves and their concerned families, but they can also be dangerous. As many as 1 in 3 nursing home residents will suffer some form of abuse during their residency in assisted living. Unfortunately, the true number may be much higher because most incidents go unreported.
The underlying causes of nursing home abuse are manifold. Everything from overcrowding to staffing shortages to poor government oversight and more have contributed to the increase in abuse reports in recent years. Until these issues are addressed, senior citizens and their families should be aware of the risks of assisted living.
However, for those who require the specialized medical care and assistance with daily living activities that nursing homes provide, these facilities are still a good choice for getting the help you need and improving your quality of living and general well-being. Levin & Perconti believes the trick is to find a highly rated facility with proof of high-quality care.
The nursing home abuse attorneys at Levin & Perconti are nationally recognized leaders in nursing home abuse and neglect law.
In our years of working with nursing home abuse victims and their families, we’ve noticed that nursing homes with the poorest Medicare ratings are the ones most likely to foster an environment where abuse occurs.
That’s why we want prospective residents and their loved ones to know how to pick a highly rated facility that is recognized by Medicare for providing safe, quality care. To help you, we share information from Medicare about specific Illinois nursing homes, such as Heritage Health Gillespie, and offer tips on how to compare nursing homes in your area so you are prepared to pick one at which you will feel safe when the time comes.
About Heritage Health Gillespie
7588 Staunton Road
Gillespie, IL 62033
Heritage Health Gillespie is a Medicare-certified facility with 100 beds. The location offers long- and short-term residents skilled nursing, hospice care, respite care, and a variety of therapy services on site.
Medicare gives Heritage Health Gillespie a disappointing Below Average rating on medicare.gov. This rating was arrived at due to a combination of low ratings in three separate categories: a Below Average quality measures rating, a Much Below Average staffing rating, and an Average health inspection rating.
While these ratings alone offer a quick guide to what quality of facility Heritage Health Gillespie is, Levin & Perconti suggests digging a little deeper by looking at the facility’s most recent health inspection report as well. The deficiencies documented on such reports on medicare.gov will give you further insight into the quality of care, or lack thereof, found at any given nursing home. A sample of the deficiencies found at Heritage Health Gillespie are listed below.
5/24/2018 Failure to honor the resident’s right to a dignified existence, self-determination, communication, and to exercise his or her rights. Staff were observed ignoring one resident’s requests for apple juice and tissues and to be taken to her room from the dining hall. Another resident was observed having lunch in the dining hall wearing only a hospital gown, which is against facility policy.
5/24/2018 Failure to honor the resident’s right to voice grievances without discrimination or reprisal and the facility must establish a grievance policy and make prompt efforts to resolve grievances. The facility failed to have the facility’s internal grievance policy or procedures posted anywhere in the facility to view and failed to inform residents of these policies otherwise.
Blank grievance forms were not readily available for residents or their representative without specifically asking for them, and there was no place to submit an anonymous complaint. The social worker acting as the grievance official for the facility was not documented as having this role and admitted to keeping her own document of selected complaints that she was aware of.
5/24/2018 Failure to provide care and assistance to perform activities of daily living for any resident who is unable. The facility failed to provide assistance for two residents at meal times. One resident with severe cognitive impairment received no cueing or encouragement to eat for the space of 20 minutes during a lunch. A second resident who requires extensive assistance with daily living activities was given only one cue to drink and eat during a period of 55 minutes.
5/24/2018 Failure to provide and implement an infection prevention and control program. The facility failed to provide proper hand hygiene and glove changing and failed to properly contain soiled linens during incontinent care for four residents. Staff were observed failing to sanitize their hands in between changing gloves while washing three incontinent residents on separate occasions. On a fourth occasion, soiled cloths were not properly contained and were allowed to come into contact with a resident’s feet on the bed while staff changed said resident.
Picking the Best Nursing Home
The best way to protect yourself or a loved one from abuse in assisted living is by picking a facility with a proven history of high-quality care. Facilities who have good staffing practices, high ratings, and fair health inspection reports are most likely to have good employees who provide attentive, compassionate care and established protocols for resident safety and handling of complaints.
To find such a nursing home, first look up what facilities are available in your area. You can ask friends and acquaintances, doctors, or social workers for recommendations, or a quick internet search will give you plenty of results too. There may also be community authorities you can ask, such as your local senior and community activity center or a government program that supports senior citizens.
Once you know what facilities are nearby, do thorough research into each one so you can compare them in detail. This is when you look at the ratings and inspection reports on medicare.gov, or you can look at other websites to find resident reviews or news stories about each facility. Additionally, you can call your local long-term care ombudsman, state health department, or state licensing agency and ask if they have information on the facilities you’re considering.
Of course these days most nursing homes have their own websites where you can read about them. These sites can help you learn what services and amenities they offer, but every nursing home is going to advertise itself in its best light and ignore any of its deficiencies, so be sure to research them using unbiased resources too.
When you’ve whittled down your list of nursing homes to the best ones, schedule tours with them so you or a trusted relative can see what they are like in person. On tours, pay attention to how the environment makes you feel, how clean the facility is, and how friendly the staff are. Bring a list of questions with you about the services you’ll need, ratios of staff to residents, staff qualifications, policies for filing complaints, and anything else you need to know to make a decision. If you have more questions later, don’t hesitate to call or visit again.
After all this due diligence, you should be able to pick a facility that meets all of your needs and gives you confidence that it provides a safe, comfortable environment. However, even the best nursing home can have isolated cases of abuse or neglect, so don’t believe your work is over yet.
If you or a family member is moving into assisted living, make sure you keep in contact and plan for frequent visits together. Residents who are isolated from loved ones are more at risk for abuse. Family and friends can also help frail residents report abuse. You and your visitors should also learn signs of abuse. Sometimes it’s difficult even as a victim to recognize abusive behavior, so commit these common signs to memory:
- 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
If you or a loved one ever suspects or experiences abuse at a nursing home, follow the facility’s procedures for filing a complaint and contact a staff supervisor or the facility administrator. They should take your report seriously and act to immediately rectify the situation and prevent it from happening again. However, sometimes abuse stems from ineffective management, so if the administer is unwilling to address concerns or takes insufficient action, seek outside help from a doctor, a state agency, or your local long-term care ombudsman.
Unfortunately, nursing home abuse can cause serious harm, injury, and even death to vulnerable residents. If this is your experience, you may have a wrongful injury or death case that also requires legal help.
Levin & Perconti Can Help
If you or a loved one have suffered injury or death at the hands of an Illinois nursing home like Heritage Health Gillespie or another facility, you might be entitled to compensation under state law. Levin & Perconti can help. Our attorneys have a proven history in winning verdicts and settlements for nursing home abuse victims. We’ve won millions of dollars in restitution for our clients, and we can win for you too. If you are ready to start building your case, click or call Levin & Perconti at 888-424-5757 any time for a free consultation. We answer 24/7.
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.