Heritage Health Minonk
At the time of the last census in 2010, 1.3 million Americans lived in nursing homes. However, that was just about the time the oldest of the Baby Boomer generation were reaching the standard retirement age of 65.
Nearly a decade later, many of that generation have entered their later years and find themselves needing more and more assistance with medical conditions and daily living activities either short-term or long-term. In fact, 50% of Americans who reach the age of 65 will need long-term care late in life.
As the elder care industry swells with this influx of aging Americans, nursing homes are scrambling to provide enough beds and caregivers–often failing miserably. Consequently, nursing home abuse is on the rise as these struggling care facilities suffer staffing shortages, leaving existing staff overwhelmed with their responsibilities or compelling managers to hire unqualified staff for specialized tasks.
Under these conditions, it is difficult for staff to provide the personalized care nursing home residents need. There is not enough time to give adequate attention to each resident or to reasonably follow the minute details of safety protocols.
Additionally, underqualified staff are often relied upon to fill in the gaps and take on responsibilities they are not trained for. All of this results in dangerous mistakes and oversights. At its most extreme, stressed or unvetted employees may take out their frustrations on vulnerable, defenseless residents.
As nationally recognized leaders in nursing home abuse law, Levin & Perconti has seen too many nursing homes operating under these problematic conditions.
In our experience, nursing homes that fail to follow responsible staffing practices have lower Medicare ratings and higher rates of abuse in general. Conversely, facilities that hire responsibly and are well managed usually have high Medicare ratings indicative of safe living conditions. That’s why we help families and individuals locate these highly rated nursing homes so you or a loved one do not end up at a dangerous facility.
We are happy to share Medicare ratings and health reports for specific Illinois nursing homes, like Heritage Health Minonk, for this very reason. As you compare this information for the nursing homes you are considering, also take a look at the tips we offer for picking a safe assisted living residence.
About Heritage Health Minonk
201 Locust Street
Minonk, IL 61760
Heritage Health Minonk is a smaller 49 bed facility that offers skilled nursing for long- and short-term residents as well as hospice care, respite care, and a variety of therapies. The location also offers duplexes for seniors interested in independent living.
Medicare awards Heritage Health Minonk an impressive five-star Much Above Average overall rating. This is due to its excellent ratings in the other categories Medicare looks at: a Much Above Average quality measures rating, an Average staffing rating, and a Much Above Average health inspection rating.
Levin & Perconti suggests comparing the staffing and health inspection ratings of nursing homes to get a more complete picture of the care received at each one. In addition to the ratings, Medicare also publishes health inspection reports that you can use to further inform your decision.
The number and severity of deficiencies documented in these reports can offer additional insight into the goings on at a nursing home. Below is a sample of the deficiencies found during the most recent health inspection at Heritage Health Minonk.
10/17/2018 Failure to develop and implement a complete care plan that meets all the resident’s needs, with timetables and actions that can be measured. The facility failed to implement a pressure ulcer preventative intervention for a resident. The resident’s care plan documented that the resident was at risk for pressure ulcers and should wear soft heel boots at all times. Instead the resident was observed with no heel protectors.
10/17/2018 Failure to develop a 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 update a care plan for a resident reviewed for urinary tract infections. The resident was prescribed an antibiotic to treat a UTI, but the resident’s electronic care plan was not updated to document the infection and treatment.
10/17/2018 Failure to ensure each resident receives and the facility provides food that accommodates resident allergies, intolerances, and preferences, as well as appealing options. The facility failed to offer lunch to a resident for two days in a row because he would not come to the dining room. No alternative meal or arrangements were offered.
Selecting a Safe Nursing Home
The best way to protect yourself or a loved one from abuse in assisted living is to pick a facility with responsible staffing practices and good management. In most cases, you can reasonably expect excellent care at a facility that has high Medicare ratings and fair health inspection reports, like those of Heritage Health Minonk. Such facilities are most likely to employ qualified caregivers who provide professional, compassionate care and follow appropriate protocols for resident safety and handling complaints.
When you begin your search for a nursing home, begin by looking up possible facilities in your area. You can ask friends and acquaintances, doctors, or social workers for recommendations. A quick internet search will give you plenty of results too. Additionally, there may also be community authorities who can help you find nursing homes, such as your local senior and community activity center or a government program that serves senior citizens.
With a list of nursing homes to consider, you can start the work of researching and comparing your options to find a facility that meets your needs and is safe. In your research, look for Medicare ratings, health inspection reports, online reviews, and news stories of abuse cases. You may also get more information if you call your local long-term care ombudsman, state health department, or state licensing agency and ask if they have further details about the nursing homes you’re considering.
Be wary of getting too much information from nursing homes’ own websites. Company websites can tell you what services and amenities each location offers, but they are also carefully designed to portray a facility in its best light no matter what its living conditions there truly are. Always rely on unbiased resources to inform your final decision.
By comparing the best and worst of the nursing homes in your area, you should be able to narrow your search down to a top few that appear to have the services you need as well as a history of satisfactory care. Before making your final decision, schedule tours with these facilities so you or a trusted loved one can visit in person to see if these homes live up to your expectations.
On the visit, observe how the environment makes you feel, how clean the facility is, and how friendly the staff are.Come prepared to ask questions about the type of care you’ll need, the ratio of staff to residents, staff qualifications, and the procedure for filing resident complaints. If more questions arise later, don’t hesitate to call or visit again.
All of this research and vetting of nursing homes can be a little overwhelming, but the safety of yourself or a loved one after entering assisted living should be your top priority. Hopefully, with all this work you will be able to find and confidently select a nursing home that meets all of your needs and that you feel comfortable with.
Keep in mind, however, that even in the best nursing homes abuse can occur as an isolated, random event. For this reason, you will always need to be vigilant. When you or a family member are moving into assisted living, plan to stay in close contact and have frequent visits. It is known that residents who are isolated from friends and family are at higher risk of being abused. Visitors can help the frailest residents report abuse if needed.
Nursing home residents and loved ones should all learn the signs of nursing home abuse and neglect, so you are better prepared to recognize and report abuse if it happens. Nursing home abuse is not always obvious, so commit these common signs to memory just in case:
- 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
In the event of suspected or verified abuse, report it immediately. Follow the facility’s procedures for filing a complaint and contact someone in charge, such asa staff supervisor or the facility administrator.This person should take your report seriously and take appropriate action to quickly correct the situation and prevent it from happening again.
Unfortunately, abuse often occurs at facilities with ineffective management, so reporting abuse to an authority figure may not result in satisfactory action. If a facility fails to correct or prevent abuse, you are encouraged to seek outside help from a doctor, a state agency, or your local long-term care ombudsman.
Nursing home abuse is a serious problem that can cause real harm, injury, and even death to vulnerable residents. If this happens to you or a loved one, you may have a wrongful injury or death case and should seek legal aid.
Levin & Perconti Wants to Help
Nursing home abuse and neglect are tragic pitfalls in the elder care industry. If you or a loved one have been victimized while living in assisted living, you deserve your day in court. As experts in nursing home abuse law, the attorneys at Levin & Perconti have the knowledge and experience you need to seek justice. We have won millions of dollars in verdicts and settlements for our clients, and we can win for you too. If you are ready to fight for your rights, click or call Levin & Perconti at 888-424-5757 any time for a free consultation. We take calls at all hours.
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.