Heritage Health Mendota
If you or a loved one are among the many baby boomers now entering their later years, you may soon join the growing number of Americans and their families considering late life care. Assisted living facilities of all kinds have been a popular option for many decades as a way to provide the specialized medical and personal care many senior citizens eventually need when they can no longer live independently or get by with the help of family and friends.
However, while these facilities fulfill many important needs for the elderly, they are not without risks. As many as 1 in 3 nursing home residents will suffer some form of abuse during their residency in assisted living, and the true number may be much higher because most incidents of abuse go unreported.
Many issues can be blamed for the surge of nursing home abuse in recent years. Overcrowding, staffing shortages, poor government oversight, and more have all been cited as causes. But until these issues are satisfactorily addressed, prospective and current nursing home residents and their families must live knowing the risks of assisted living.
Fortunately, not all nursing homes suffer from the issues that promote abuse; there are ways to protect vulnerable elderly from coming to harm in assisted living. Levin & Perconti has learned that often all it takes is finding a highly rated facility with proof of prioritizing resident safety and health.
As nationally recognized leaders in nursing home abuse and neglect law, Levin & Perconti have seen the harm done by negligent nursing homes.
After years of working with nursing home abuse victims and their families, we’ve concluded that nursing homes with the poorest Medicare ratings are usually the ones most likely to foster an environment where abuse thrives. We believe that when individuals and families do their due diligence in picking a highly rated nursing home, vulnerable residents are less likely to fall prey to unscrupulous staff.
That’s why we are dedicated to educating Illinois residents on how to find and pick the best nursing homes in their area. We share tips on how to go about doing this and provide information straight from Medicare about specific Illinois nursing homes, such as Heritage Health Mendota, so you can avoid problematic facilities and go only to the best qualified ones when it’s time.
About Heritage Health Mendota
1201 First Avenue
Mendota, IL 61342
Heritage Health Mendota is a Medicare-certified facility with 85 beds. The location offers long- and short-term residents skilled nursing, hospice care, respite care, and a variety of therapy services. There are also outpatient therapy services at this location.
Medicare gives Heritage Health Mendota an impressive five-star Much Above Average rating. This rating comprises of three separate categorized ratings: a Much Above Average quality measures rating, an Average staffing rating, and an Above Average health inspection rating.
While these high ratings imply an excellent level of care at Heritage Health Mendota, Levin & Perconti always suggests reading the health reports found on medicare.gov for any facility so you have the most complete view. Even highly rated facilities can have health inspection deficiencies that are worth taking a look at. Below are the deficiencies found at Heritage Health Mendota.
8/10/2018 Failure to provide appropriate pressure ulcer care and prevent new ulcers from developing. The facility failed to assist a resident in repositioning as part of their pressure ulcer care. Staff failed to regularly reposition a resident with in-house acquired pressure ulcers and allowed the resident’s air mattress to deflate. Some staff were unaware of the resident’s wounds. The resident was known to be unable to reposition himself.
8/10/2018 Failure to procure food from sources approved or considered satisfactory and store, prepare, distribute and serve food in accordance with professional standards. The facility failed to ensure that staff completely covered their hair while handling and preparing food and that food items were dated properly.
8/10/2018 Failure to provide and implement an infection prevention and control program. A staff member failed to change gloves after wiping an incontinent resident and before touching the resident’s new brief, body, clothing, and bed.
Picking the Best Nursing Home
The best way for families and individuals to protect nursing home residents from abuse is to select a facility with proven quality caregiving. Facilities with good staffing practices, high ratings, and fair health inspection reports are most likely to support good living conditions for vulnerable residents.
To find such a nursing home, you must first become familiar with what facilities are available to you in your community. You can ask for recommendations from family, acquaintances, doctors, or social workers. A simple internet search can help you 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 have identified your local nursing homes, research each one and begin comparing them to each other. You should look at the ratings and inspection reports on medicare.gov, as well as other websites that have resident reviews or even news stories for the facilities you’re interested in. Additionally, you can also try calling your local long-term care ombudsman, state health department, or state licensing agency to ask if they have more information on nursing homes in your area.
In your research you will probably come across company websites for the nursing homes you’re considering. These sites can tell you what services and amenities they offer, but you should take their promises of excellent care with a grain of salt. Every business tries to make themselves look like the best. Don’t fall for good marketing; rely on unbiased resources to inform you decision.
Eventually, you should whittle down a list of select nursing homes to choose from. The final test is how impressed you are with them in person. Schedule tours with each one so you can see for yourself how well each facility is maintained, how friendly the staff are, and if you notice any blatant red flags. This is also the perfect opportunity to ask questions about staff qualifications and ratio to residents, how the facility handles complaints, and other concerns.
After doing your due diligence, you should be confident in selecting the best nursing home to fit your needs and provide a safe, comfortable home. However, in the relief of finally making a decision, there is little room for complacency. Even the best nursing home can have isolated cases of abuse or neglect, so don’t expect to let you guard totally down any time soon.
If you or a family member has finally moved into assisted living, make sure you keep in contact and plan for frequent visits with loved ones. Residents who are isolated from friends and family are at more risk for abuse and often struggle to report abuse if it happens. Both residents and family members should learn the signs of abuse so they are better prepared to report it.
Start with these common signs:
- 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
Nursing home abuse is tragic and dangerous. If you or a loved one ever suspect or experience abuse at a nursing home, take action right away. Follow the facility’s procedures for filing a grievance, and contact someone in charge like a staff supervisor or the facility administrator. They should take swift action to rectify the situation and prevent further incidence.
However, all too often poor management lies at the root of abusive situations, and administrators may be slow to verify abuse at their facility. If an authority figure is unwilling to address concerns or take appropriate action, you can seek outside help from a doctor, a state agency, or your local long-term care ombudsman.
Nursing home abuse is known to potentially cause serious harm, injury, and even death to vulnerable residents. If this is your experience, your situation may also warrant legal action.
Levin & Perconti Can Help
Levin & Perconti understands the pain of nursing home abuse for both victims and their families. We pride ourselves on being with our clients every step of the way when they decide to pursue legal action against negligent Illinois nursing homes. Our experience and expertise are vital to seeking justice and restitution for these victims. If you are unsure if you have a legal case or what steps to take next, please click or call Levin & Perconti at 888-424-5757 any time for a free consultation and the help you need. We answer at every hour of the day or night.
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.