Heritage Health Mount Sterling
If you’ve read the news in recent years, you may be wondering if abuse and neglect in nursing homes has become more common just from the number of stories published about violent nursing home employees. But is that the case, or does the media just like to dig up the most provocative stories? No doubt the media does report on the most serious cases of nursing home abuse, but unfortunately, nursing home abuse and neglect does seem to be a growing problem when you look at the statistics.
As of 2014, there were 1.4 million Americans living in nursing homes. It is believed that as many as 1 in 3 nursing home residents will experience abuse at some point in their residency, but studies estimate that nursing home abuse is severely underreported so that number could be greater. In one study of 2,000 nursing home residents, 44% had experienced abuse or neglect and 95% had seen another resident be mistreated.
As the large Baby Boomer demographic continues to age, more and more Americans have entered assisted living in recent years, which means the number of individual abuse cases continues to increase. This influx not only means there are more potential victims, but that the ill-prepared elder care industry is straining under the pressure of overcrowding and staffing shortages.
When elder care facilities are filled to the max and struggle to have enough manpower to care for all their residents, neglect and abuse run rampant. Even the most qualified staff make mistakes or cannot fulfill all of their responsibilities when overworked, and often nursing homes will bring on untrained staff to fill in the gaps, putting residents at further risk for malpractice. In the worst cases, overstressed workers take out their frustrations on vulnerable residents.
So how can individuals and families find safe, adequate assisted living care and prevent the tragedy of nursing home abuse?
As nationally recognized leaders in nursing home abuse law, Levin & Perconti have seen the effects of poorly staffed nursing homes up close.
It is our belief that individuals and families can identify safe, reputable nursing homes by looking at information about prospective facilities on medicare.org. Here, Medicare rates nursing homes based on important categories and publishes health inspection reports for public viewing. Levin & Perconti has observed that the nursing homes with the most reports of abuse tend to have lower Medicare ratings and more or severe deficiencies in their health inspection reports. Therefore, families should strive to place loved ones in facilities that are highly rated and have fair health inspection reports.
To help you find these highly rated facilities and avoid the questionable ones, Levin & Perconti is glad to share this information from Medicare’s site for individual Illinois nursing homes, such as Heritage Health Mount Sterling. We hope this helps individuals and families trying to select the best possible nursing home feel more confident in their decision to seek assisted living care.
About Heritage Health Mount Sterling
435 Camden Road
Mount Sterling, IL 62353
Heritage Health Mount Sterling is a Medicare-certified facility with 80 beds.The facility specializes in rehab-to-home short-term therapy and also offers skilled nursing, hospice care, respite care, and a variety of therapies for short- and long-term residents.
Medicare gives Heritage Health Mount Sterling a mere Average overall rating. This comprises of a Below Average quality measures rating, Much Below Average staffing rating, and Above Average health inspection rating.
Levin & Perconti advises comparing the staffing and health inspection ratings of different nursing homes to best assess which facilities provide a better quality of care. Additionally, Medicare also publishes health inspection reports to give you an inside view of deficiencies found at a facility. Below is a sample of the deficiencies found during the most recent health inspection at Heritage Health Mount Sterling.
11/15/2018 Failure to honor the resident’s right to a dignified existence, self-determination, communication, and to exercise his or her rights. A resident complained that she was never served her meals at the same time as other residents in the dining hall because her food had to be pureed and was always delayed, forcing her to wait while others ate.
11/15/2018 Failure to ensure each resident receives an accurate assessment. The facility failed to update documentation to accurately describe a resident’s recent falls and injuries. The resident’s minimum data set paperwork did not include an injury sustained after a fall.
11/15/2018 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 revise a care plan for a resident experiencing significant weight loss. A dietician’s assessment documented the resident’s weight loss, but the resident’s dietary care plan was not revised to address the weight loss.
How to Select a Safe Nursing Home
There is no foolproof way to completely prevent nursing home abuse; there will always be unscrupulous people who take advantage of more vulnerable people. However, certain conditions in nursing homes increase the likelihood of abuse, so the trick is to avoid struggling and failing facilities and seek care from reliable, highly rated facilities instead. These facilities are more likely to employ adequate staff and foster a compassionate, professional environment where residents are properly cared for.
To find the best possible nursing home for you or a loved one, begin by vetting the facilities available in your area. Start by asking for recommendations from friends, acquaintances, doctors, or social workers. You may also get suggestions from yourlocal senior and community activity center or a government program that serves senior citizens. Online reviews may also help you identify promising nursing homes.
After compiling a list of recommended facilities, start researching and comparing each one to pick out the best of the best. This is where you compare the ratings and health inspection reports published by Medicare. You can alsocall 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.
We do not recommend taking the self-praise often found on nursing homes’ own websites too seriously. The majority of assisted living facilities in the US are for-profit and savvy at marketing themselves in a positive light to attract new residents. These sites can help you understand what services and amenities facilities offer, but are not reliable in reporting how well they act on promises of superb care and comfortable living conditions.
Since you can’t rely on the pretty pictures and select testimonials on nursing home websites, it’s important that you visit the facilities you’re considering in person. You or a trusted family member should schedule tours of your top picks so you can assess the living conditions there yourselves. During tours, pay attention to how clean and well maintained the facility is, the demeanor and friendliness of staff, and how the environment makes you feel in general. Ask questions aboutthe ratio of staff to residents, staff qualifications, and the procedure for filing resident complaints or anything else you’re curious about. If more questions come to you later, call or visit again.
Afterdoing your due diligence, you should be able to confidently select a trustworthy nursing home where you or your loved one are comfortable with the living conditions. Keep in mind, however, that even the best nursing homes can slip up now and again so you and family members must remain vigilant and be prepared just in case.
When a loved one moves into assisted living, plans should be made for how to stay in contact with friends and family, preferably with regular visits.It is common for residents who are isolated from loved ones to be targeted for abuse. Visitors can look for signs of abuse and help abuse victims file a complaint. Nursing home abuse is not always obvious, so it is important to learn the common signs of abuse. Below are such 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
If you ever suspect or become aware of abuse of a nursing home resident, take action immediately.Follow the facility’s procedures for filing a resident complaint and notify someone in charge, such as a staff supervisor or the facility administrator. This person should take prompt, appropriate action to correct the situation and prevent further problems.
However, if the facility fails to take proper action or the abuse persists, you may need outside help. Contact a doctor, a state agency, or your local long-term care ombudsman as soon as possible for guidance. Additionally, if you or a loved one suffer injury or death in a nursing home, you may have a wrongful injury or death case and deserve justice according to the law.
Levin & Perconti Wants to Help
If you or a loved one have suffered personal injury at Heritage Health Mount Sterling or another Illinois nursing home, know that you have rights and access to help. The experienced attorneys at Levin & Perconti know all the ins and outs of nursing home abuse law and are ready to help you through every step of the legal process. If you are unsure if you have a case or how to start, click or call Levin & Perconti at 888-424-5757 any time for a free consultation and the answers you need to seek justice.
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.