The Grove at the Lake
While many studies have been done about the effects of child abuse and the issue is frequently covered in the media, the effects of elder abuse are not as well-studied or publicly discussed. This is particularly true of elder abuse in nursing homes, which has only started getting more attention in recent years.
Understanding The Prevalence of Nursing Home Abuse
While an elderly person’s remaining years are shorter than those of a younger person, the lifelong effects of abuse can still haunt them the rest of their lives and should be a serious concern to loved ones and caretakers.
As much as 44% of the US nursing home population has reported being abused in some way. That number could be greater, however, as it is often difficult or impossible for a frail senior to recognize or report their abuse due to illness or cognitive impairment.
Nursing home residents are often isolated from friends and family who could help spot and report abuse too. This inability to report abuse only makes it more likely to continue and further exacerbate the consequences of the abuse.
Physical abuse is probably the most feared abuse because its effects are better understood. When an elderly person is physically abused, they sustain immediate injury to their body, such as bruises, cuts, burns, fractures, internal injuries and bleeding, and pain. Such injuries can cause further secondary health problems too, especially if not recognized or treated immediately.
Some of these health issues may be excessive weight loss and malnutrition, dehydration, bedsores, increased vulnerability to illness, and insomnia. Such consequences might be from physical neglect, such as if a nursing home fails to properly feed a resident or reposition them to prevent bedsores. Sometimes these effects come from the psychological effects of abuse, which may result in loss of appetite or sleeplessness.
All forms of abuse leave psychological scars, but they can be difficult to detect, especially in aging individuals. Sudden changes in behavior or personality may be the best indicator that an elderly nursing home resident is mentally suffering from abuse. They may exhibit signs of anxiety, fear, agitation, depression, and aggression. They may also compulsively rock back and forth.
The most serious consequence of physical abuse is death. Elderly persons who experience abuse have a 300% higher risk of death because of the effects on their health and mental state. That is why it is so important to stay in contact with family and friends living in assisted living, so you can watch for signs of abuse and neglect and take action if you ever suspect they are suffering harm.
Protecting Nursing Home Residents from Abuse
Levin & Perconti are nationally recognized nursing home abuse experts, and we’ve seen the tragic effects of physical abuse on nursing home residents. Our attorneys have personally handled cases involving:
- Unauthorized Physical and/or Chemical Restraint Use
- Physical Abuse
- Alzheimer’s and Dementia Patients
- Falls, Improper Transfers, Drops by Staff
- Medication Errors
- Wandering and Elopement from facilities
- Pressure Sores
- Clogged Breathing Tubes
- Sepsis and Other Infections
- Malnutrition and/or Dehydration
- Physical or Sexual Assault or Abuse
No one should suffer from such treatment at the hands of caregivers. That’s why we want to share information with Illinois families and individuals about how to protect nursing home residents from abuse. We are glad to offer you tips on how to pick a safe nursing home and how to recognize and report abuse if it happens.
In our experience, some nursing homes are more likely to be the location of abuse than others. The difference is in their performance as a facility. Nursing homes that are high performers, meaning they have proper policies in place and ensure staff follow those policies for resident safety, have far fewer instances of abuse than facilities that fail to establish or follow policies regarding the safe care and treatment of residents. But how can you tell how a facility operates before moving someone in?
We find that the ratings and health inspection reports published on medicare.org are a good indication of where the good and bad nursing homes are. Medicare rates every certified nursing home in the country from Much Below Average to Much Above Average each year so you can know which facilities are top performers and which are questionable. You can also read full health inspection reports, which will offer more detailed insight into what exactly any given nursing home has struggled with in the past few years.
As you research nursing homes, look up all of the facilities in your area and compare these ratings and their health inspection citations to identify the nursing homes that best fit your standards. To help you do this, Levin & Perconti also shares these ratings and samples of health inspection reports for Illinois nursing homes, such as The Grove at the Lake.
In addition to this research, you should also visit prospective nursing homes. Schedule tours of the highest performing facilities in your area so you can see for yourself what they’re really like and ask questions. Do what you can to find out about staff qualifications, staff to resident ratios, and how they handle grievances. This will help you pick the safest nursing home for yourself or a family member.
Of course, abuse can still happen at even the most highly rated care facility. Learning some common signs of abuse can help you watch for and stop abuse of yourself or a loved one. Anything that hurts a person physically or mentally is abuse. If a nursing home fails to provide necessities, that is neglect and is also abusive. Here are some basic signs of abuse and neglect to commit 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 become aware of an abusive situation, report it immediately. Contact a staff supervisor or the facility administrator. There should also be a grievance procedure to follow. It is vital that the nursing home knows about any mistreatment of a resident as soon as possible so they can take action to stop the abuse and prevent it in the future.
Nursing homes have a legal obligation to protect residents from abuse and injury. If the facility you or a loved one have received care at has failed to do this and real harm was experienced, you may need legal help from an experienced nursing home abuse or personal injury attorney like Levin & Perconti.
About The Grove at the Lake
2534 Elim Ave.
Zion, IL 60099
The Grove at the Lake is a large skilled care facility for rehab and senior living. It has 244 Medicare-certified beds and offers such services as an on-site psychiatrist, skilled nursing, in-house hemodialysis, dementia care, respiratory therapy, and more.
Medicare rates The Grove at the Lake as Below Average. Although it achieved a perfect Much Above Average quality measures rating, its health inspection and staffing ratings were rated as low as possible at Much Below Average.
These low ratings are due to the many health citations issued during the facility’s last health inspection. The full report can be read on medicare.org, but below is a sample of deficiencies found.
7/17/2018 Failure to provide care and assistance to perform activities of daily living for any resident who is unable. The facility failed to ensure residents who require assistance with activities of daily living receive incontinence care and showers. One resident was observed with a soiled incontinence brief and pad. She stated that staff change her on average three times a day when the facility’s policy states residents that are incontinent should be checked every two hours. A second resident was also found with a soiled incontinent brief and pad because staff had not performed timely incontinence care. A third resident was observed with disheveled and ungroomed hair. She stated she had not had a shower in over a week. Her shower record sheet proved she had not showered in 11 days.
7/17/2018 Failure to ensure that a nursing home area is free from accident hazards and provides adequate supervision to prevent accidents. The facility failed to supervise a resident with a history of choking during a meal. The resident’s care plan states she demonstrate some risk to potentially choke or aspirate food or liquids. The resident had three incidents of choking during meals at the facility, requiring the Heimlich maneuver and hospitalization. The third time the resident became unresponsive. Multiple staff admitted to not supervising the resident during meals or knowing she was at risk for choking. The facility did not have a policy for monitoring residents at risk for choking during meal times.
7/17/2018 Failure to provide enough food/fluids to maintain a resident’s health. The facility failed to monitor and reevaluate a resident who lost an excessive amount of weight. A dietician noted the resident had decreased appetite and had a slow weight loss goal of two to four pounds a month. When the resident lost 30 pounds in four months, the dietician did not recommend continued monitoring or interventions for the excessive weight loss. This is against the facility’s policy for safe weight loss.
Our Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys Can Help
Have you or a loved one suffered physical abuse at The Grove at the Lake or another Illinois nursing home? If so, you have rights under state law and may be entitled to some restitution. The expert nursing home abuse attorneys at Levin & Perconti can help you understand your rights and build your case to win the verdict or settlement you seek. We’ve won millions of dollars for our clients already and can win for you too. Contact us online or call at 888-424-5757 today for a free consultation.
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.