Heritage Health Peru
While the media likes to focus on the most violent and explicit cases of abuse in nursing homes, neglect is the more common crime committed there. This is probably due to the fact that neglect is often unintentional and much more passive.
While abuse requires conscious action to hurt someone, neglect is usually a lack of action, requiring little effort or awareness. And while neglect can certainly be intentional, in care facilities where caregivers are pressed for time and at their wit’s end, neglect is often due to honest mistakes or lack of resources, not ill-intentioned criminals.
Nevertheless, neglect is just as dangerous to vulnerable nursing home residents as violence is. It puts their physical and mental health at risk when they frequently have no way to stop or report what they’re suffering. Many of these victims already have precarious health and are more susceptible to the ill effects of neglect.
Every year, thousands of nursing home residents suffer harm and even death due to neglect in nursing homes. It is also known that an elderly person who is abused or neglected is more likely to die in the following three years after the abuse begins.
Neglect is difficult to spot in senior care environments; it is not uncommon for an otherwise incapacitated individual to begin failing due to pre-existing health conditions. Who’s to say if sudden weight loss, change in personality, or excessive fatigue, for instance, is due to negligent staff or merely the debilitating effects of old age?
Neglect is also often little things that a resident’s family won’t be around to see, such as failing to encourage eating at meal times or proper cleansing technique during bathing and catheter care. When loved ones come to visit that afternoon, they have no way of knowing that their relative didn’t get enough to eat that day or is at risk for contracting an infection.
Neglect in nursing homes is a serious problem that many families don’t want to think about. However, the risk of neglect can be reduced when family members do their research and choose a highly rated nursing home with a proven record of quality care.
As nationally recognized leaders in nursing home abuse law, Levin & Perconti has learned that the best rated facilities are those that are most likely to employ enough staff to adequately care for every resident the way their families expect.
We want to help you find these safe nursing homes for your senior loved one; we have taken it upon ourselves to share ratings and health inspections from Medicare so you can find the best nursing homes in Illinois while avoiding those that are failing. Along with this information, you will also find tips for protecting your relative in assisted living and what to do if they are ever mistreated.
About Heritage Health Peru
1301 21st Street
Peru, IL 61354
Heritage Health Peru is a large facility with 127 beds. The location offers long- and short-term skilled nursing, hospice care, respite care, and a variety of therapies including respiratory, occupational, physical, speech, and restore-to-home.
Medicare awards Heritage Health Peru an overall rating of Above Average thanks to good ratings in the three categories Medicare uses to assess nursing home facilities. For these categories, Heritage Health Peru earned an Above Average health inspection rating, Above Average staffing rating, and Average quality measures rating. These ratings can help you compare the quality of care provided at this facility against that of other facilities you might be considering.
In addition to the ratings, Levin & Perconti encourages families to read the health inspection reports published by Medicare. These can reveal particular weaknesses of facilities and give you yet more information to compare between different nursing homes. Here are the deficiencies found at Heritage Health Peru most recently:
2/16/2018 Failure to provide appropriate care for a resident to maintain and/or improve range of motion (ROM), limited ROM and/or mobility, unless a decline is for a medical reason. The facility failed to ensure that supportive devices were in place for contractures for one resident. The resident’s care plan states that the resident was to have rolled washcloths for contracted hands and elbows. The resident was observed on three different days without these and staff members were confused as to how often the resident was to have these supports.
2/16/2018 Failure to ensure drugs and biologicals used in the facility are labeled in accordance with currently accepted professional principles; and all drugs and biologicals must be stored in locked compartments, separately locked, compartments for controlled drugs. The facility failed to date and label a resident’s insulin pen according to facility policy. It did not have the resident’s name or date opened on it.
2/16/2018 Failure to provide and implement an infection prevention and control program. Staff failed to prevent a resident’s soiled bed bad from having contact with clean bed linens and failed to change gloves during the resident’s wound care. While changing an incontinent resident, a CNA pulled the resident’s bed linens over the resident and the resident’s soiled bed pad. After the resident and bed pad were changed, the same bed linens were placed and left on the resident again, despite touching the soiled bed pad. A nurse also failed to remove soiled gloves after treating a wound for this resident and before touching the resident’s bed, putting supplies away, and adjusting the resident’s bed. Both infractions are against facility infection control policies.
Protecting your loved one from nursing home neglect and abuse
Elder abuse and neglect can come in many forms.
While it’s our job to fight for the rights of nursing home neglect victims, it is preferable that these incidents never happen at all. You can help protect your loved one in assisted living by choosing a facility that has proof of the best standards of care and visiting them often to ensure their health.
In addition to medicare.org, you can also seek information about local nursing homes from your relative’s doctor or social worker, and your local long-term care ombudsman, state health department, or state licensing agency. Look for ones that have the least amount of infractions in recent years, and schedule tours with your top picks.
On these tours, take the opportunity to see for yourself what kind of environment each facility has. Note the facility’s cleanliness, how friendly staff are, and the general feeling there. This is also your chance to ask questions about staff to resident ratios, staff qualifications, and procedures for filing complaints, or any other concerns you have.
After you select the best nursing home possible and your relative moves in, visit regularly so you can check on them and make sure they are receiving the care they need and not being neglected. Many elderly abuse victims are unable to recognize or report abuse themselves and must rely on family members’ help to do so. Learn the signs of abuse so you know what to look for on your visits. Here’s a list of some to help you out:
- 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
Taking action against abuse
While nursing home abuse and neglect are relatively rare, they certainly happen and must be dealt with immediately when discovered. If you ever suspect or learn of abuse in a nursing home, document your experience and take action to report it immediately. Follow the facility’s procedure for filing a complaint and speak with a staff supervisor or facility administrator. They should be able to fix the situation and prevent further harm.
Unfortunately, sometimes poor management is at the root of abuse and neglect and reporting it may not always garner the results you need. If a nursing home fails to correct an abusive situation or prevent further abuse, seek outside help from a doctor, long-term care ombudsman, or state licensing agency.
If abuse or neglect have caused your loved one real harm, injury, or death, you may be able to pursue a legal case as well. In this event, Levin & Perconti are ready to help.
Levin & Perconti are on your side
If your loved one has suffered personal injury or death at Heritage Health Peru or another Illinois assisted living facility, they have rights under state law. The attorneys at Levin & Perconti are experts in nursing home abuse law and the rights of victims. We guide you from start to finish and win the verdict or settlement your family deserves. If you’re ready to get started, click or call Levin & Perconti at 888-424-5757 anytime. Our attorneys are awaiting your call.
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.