The Grove of Northbrook
Moving into an assisted living facility can be difficult for an adult who is used to being independent. Whether that individual is a senior citizen requiring long-term late-life care or a patient who just needs rehabilitation services before returning to normal activities after a hospitalization, suddenly relying on others for assistance can be uncomfortable, even embarrassing. That is why it is so important for nursing homes and the caregivers in them to have and follow policies designed to maintain residents’ dignity.
Protecting Nursing Home Residents
When nursing home staff disregard the dignity of residents, whether intentionally or unintentionally, a situation can quickly become abusive. Too many unqualified or burned out caregivers forget that they are working with human beings who despite their diminished capacities still deserve respect and have the right to receive proper care. Instead, they may treat residents rudely or feel that they can get away with ignoring important tasks and needs.
They may not take requests or preferences seriously and dismiss complaints. They may disregard a resident’s right to privacy. They may speak to them rudely or in a condescending way or just ignore them. They might rush through care and act impatient with a resident. They might laugh at a resident, shame them in front of others, or boss them around. They might unnecessarily restrict their choices and movements and go against their wishes. All of these behaviors and others along these lines come from a disdainful attitude that is never appropriate when caring for adults.
Treating already vulnerable people with disrespect leads to both mental and physical consequences. A nursing home resident is already separated from the outside world and loved ones. Disrespecting them can further isolate them and take away even more control. This is demoralizing and can harm an individual’s mental health. With compromised mental health comes consequences like sleeplessness, loss of appetite, withdrawal, and refusal to take medications or cooperate. These behaviors can then begin to take a toll on the person’s physical health.
While little things like responding curtly to a personal request or forgetting to use a privacy curtain while a dressing a resident may seem like small things, failing to respect a nursing home resident as a fellow human being can have dramatic consequences for their wellbeing over time. Individuals in assisted living are already feeling vulnerable, so any disrespect is even more harmful. Unfortunately, too many nursing homes today fail to remind their staff of this with training and adequate policies, leaving their residents at risk for potentially abusive situations.
Protecting Nursing Home Residents
The danger in disrespecting nursing home residents is that such an attitude so easily escalates into outright abuse. Whenever a caregiver forgets that their charge is a person with needs and feelings, it becomes too easy to begin mistreating them.
Caregiving can be a stressful, often thankless job, and when even the most professional caregivers find themselves overworked and unsupported by their superiors, it is easy to become frustrated with whomever they are responsible for. That is why it is so important to pick a high-performing nursing home and be prepared to stop abuse as soon as possible.
To find a high-quality nursing home, Levin & Perconti suggests turning to Medicare for help. Medicare.org publishes ratings and health inspection reports for individual nursing homes so you have that information to compare any facilities you are considering.
We personally have witnessed how low performing nursing homes tend to have lower Medicare ratings and higher rates of abuse, so we suggest steering clear of those and looking for facilities with only Above Average and Much Above Average ratings. You can also read the health inspection reports for an inside look at what kinds of issues any facility struggles with. Or search our own website for a quick look at this very information for Illinois nursing homes.
Once you’ve identified some highly rated facilities on medicare.org or our website, schedule tours of your top picks. Visiting in person allows you to get a feel for a residence and see for yourself if there are any red flags that stick out. You can also take the opportunity to ask questions about safety practices, such as how many staff are employed compared to beds filled, how many of those employees are skilled nurses, and how the facility handles complaints of abuse.
Eventually you will find the best fit for a nursing home and either move yourself or a loved one in. At this point it is important to remember that abuse can still occur in even the most reputable nursing homes and that it is often difficult to identify unless you are prepared. Both residents and family members should understand that anything that physically or mentally harms a person can be abuse, especially when it becomes a pattern that gradually transforms into intentional behavior.
Only a victim can truly say if a caregiver’s behavior has hurt them somehow, but there are signs that visitors can look for to help them recognize if a loved one is being abused. Some of these signs are:
- 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 see any of these signs or any sudden decline in health or strange behavior in a nursing home resident, report it to their nursing home immediately. They will need to begin an investigation and take measures to prevent further abuse if that is happening.
All forms of abuse are dangerous to an individual’s wellbeing and life and should be taken seriously. No one should ever suffer the pains of abuse, especially those who are most vulnerable. That is why Levin & Perconti do our best to give you the information you need to find a safe, reliable Illinois nursing home you and your family can trust.
About The Grove of Northbrook
263 Skokie Blvd.
Northbrook, IL 60062
The Grove of Northbrook has 134 Medicare-certified beds and provides post-hospital care and rehabilitation services for residences. These services include 24-hour nursing, specialized massage and neuromuscular therapy, pain management, and therapies for speech, occupational activities, and respiratory needs.
Medicare gives The Grove of Northbrook a mere Average rating due to its its mixed ratings of Above Average for quality measures, Below Average for staffing, and Average for health inspections.
While every nursing home will have some health inspection citations, it’s important to look at the number and severity of citations when comparing nursing homes, especially for facilities that have an Average or below rating for health inspections. You can read the full report for the last few years on medicare.org. Below is a sample of the latest health inspection report for The Grove of Northbrook.
6/22/2018 Failure to develop and implement policies and procedures to prevent abuse, neglect, and theft. The facility failed to follow their abuse policy for identifying, reporting, and investigating potential abuse of two residents. One resident was diagnosed with an ankle fracture. There was no obvious cause or witness of the injury, and the resident has severe cognitive impairment.
The director of nursing did not feel the incident was indicative of abuse and did not report or investigate it as such to the administrator responsible for handling abuse allegations. This is against policy. A second resident had their wallet and then money go missing from their room on two separate occasions. Staff found the missing wallet but did not try to locate the missing money the second time. A grievance form documents the wallet being found but not if money was missing from it, if staff were interviewed, or that the authorities were notified.
6/22/2018 Failure to allow resident to participate in the development and implementation of his or her person-centered plan of care. The facility failed to ensure a resident was invited to participate in a care plan conference. The resident stated that the facility did not invite them to a meeting about their own care. The facility had a phone conference with the resident’s power of attorney when the resident prefers to participate in such meetings.
6/22/2018 Failure to plan the resident’s discharge to meet the resident’s goals and needs. The facility failed to develop a care plan to include discharge planning for 11 residents. The facility’s Discharge Planning and Instructions policy requires proper discharge planning for all residents to be initiated by the facility upon resident admission and reevaluated quarterly. Care plans for 11 residents did not have documentation that discharge planning had been initiated.
Levin & Perconti Can Help
Not every nursing home remembers their purpose is to protect and care for its residents. If you or a loved one have suffered abuse or neglect at The Grove of Northbrook or another Illinois nursing home, know that you are not alone. Levin & Perconti will fight for your rights. We have handled hundreds of cases involving but not limited to:
- 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
We’ve won over $160 million for our clients, and we can win the resolution you deserve too. If you are ready to right the wrong of nursing home abuse, contact us online or call Levin & Perconti at 888-424-5757 today for a free consultation and the help you need.
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.