The Grove of Fox Valley

If you or a loved one were being emotionally abused in a nursing home, would you recognize it? Usually when we think of abuse, we think of physical abuse that causes a person bodily harm and injury. However, emotional abuse can be equally devastating and is just as common, if not more so, in caregiving settings.

Emotional abuse is particularly hurtful when perpetrated by a caregiver. They should be the one protecting a vulnerable person, not attacking them. Unfortunately, even professional caregivers, such as nursing home staff, let the stress of the job get the better of them. They act out their frustrations on defenseless residents. It is all too easy for an angry person to justify to themselves rude behavior or words and believe that they aren’t really hurting anyone if they aren’t physically hurting them.

Emotional abuse does hurt though and is always inappropriate in a nursing home environment. If you or a family member are expecting to take up residence in a nursing home either short- or long-term, be aware of the risk and consequences of emotional abuse and be prepared to speak up if you ever experience or suspect it.

Emotional abuse is any behavior that causes emotional pain to another person and includes yelling, taunting, threatening, name calling, criticizing, exclusion, bullying, intimidation, blaming, and emotional manipulation. These behaviors can make a person feel disrespected, fearful, embarrassed, or ashamed.

Emotional abuse can be very difficult to identify because it often happens out of view of family or supervisors. A victim may also feel embarrassed to complain that someone is hurting their feelings and fear being accused of overreacting. They may not know or believe that emotional abuse is real abuse. Furthermore, the signs that a victim might display if they’re being abused are also typical of mental illnesses or cognitive decline in the elderly and may be attributed to such.

Because signs of emotional abuse can mimic symptoms of other things, it’s a good idea to watch for multiple signs before concluding someone is being emotionally abused. These should also be new behaviors or conditions that have begun suddenly and while in assisted living. Some signs that can indicate emotional abuse are:

  • Avoiding eye contact
  • Refusing to see or talk to others
  • Refusing to eat, drink, or take medication
  • Weight loss and malnutrition or dehydration
  • Low energy, physical activity, or responsiveness
  • New habits such as sucking, rocking, or biting
  • Insomnia
  • Poor hygiene
  • Sudden change in demeanor or behavior when the abuser is present, such as nervousness, withdrawing, or aggression

Emotional abuse may not seem like a big deal, but when your state of health requires you to live in a nursing home even for a short time, it can become tortuous to endure that kind of treatment at the hands of someone who has some power over you.

Additionally, the effects of emotional abuse can contribute to a decline in health and even death. Never be afraid to speak up on behalf of yourself or a loved one if you feel staff are being abusive.

Reporting Nursing Home Abuse

If you become aware of or even suspect any kind of abuse at a nursing home, report it as soon as possible or ask a trusted friend or family member to do so for you. Start by documenting what you know or have experienced. You can take notes or pictures. This will help keep the facts straight during an investigation and establish a pattern if there have been multiple incidents.

Next, follow the facility’s grievance procedure. Every nursing home should have one and should give residents a copy as well as post it somewhere visible for easy reference. It will tell you who to report your complaint to and how.

You can also immediately notify a staff supervisor or go straight to the facility administrator. They can help you follow their procedure and get the ball rolling on their side of things. Nursing homes are required to investigate and report all claims of abuse to local authorities. They must also act to prevent further abuse, such as prohibiting the abuser from having contact with the victim during the investigation and terminating the abuser if the abuse is proven.

Unfortunately, it is not always guaranteed that management will take all necessary steps to rectify an abusive situation. Often abusers are employed and emboldened by ineffective managers at a poorly run facility.

In these cases, a facility administrator might try to cover up abuse or take insufficient measures to address it. If you cannot get the help you need from nursing home management, call the victim’s doctor, local long-term care ombudsman, or state licensing agency to report the facility and seek further guidance.

Levin & Perconti is concerned by the number of mismanaged nursing homes in Illinois. However, we think there is a way to prevent some nursing home abuse. We’ve learned over the years that the ratings and health inspection information found on medicare.org give useful insight into the quality of care provided at Illinois nursing homes. Highly rated nursing homes are better performers than lower rated ones and are less likely to put residents at risk of abuse. With this information, you can compare the nursing homes you are considering and make an informed decision that you can be confident about.

We want you and the people you care about to be safe while in assisted living. To this end, we share the information for Illinois nursing homes from medicare.org on our own website. We hope this extra resource is useful in helping families throughout the state learn more about their nursing home options and prevent their loved ones from suffering the anguish of nursing home abuse.

About The Grove of Fox Valley

1601 N Farnsworth Ave.
Aurora, IL 60505

The Grove of Fox Valley is a rehabilitation facility with 158 Medicare-certified beds. It provides post-hospital care and a variety of rehab and health care services including wound care, oncology care, and a number of therapies.

The Grove of Fox Valley received an Average overall rating from Medicare due to its Average quality measures and health inspection ratings and a Below Average staffing rating. For further insight into this facility, you can also read the latest health inspection report. A sample of the report’s citations is also found below.

3/07/2019 Failure to reasonably accommodate the needs and preferences of each resident. The facility failed to ensure a resident’s call lights were within reach. One resident yelled for her CNA to come change her incontinence brief three times and demonstrated that she could not reach her call light. A second resident could not reach her call light while sitting in her wheelchair. A third resident who requires assistance with transfers was observed sleeping in her chair at the foot of her bed with her call light out of reach on her bed’s pillow. A fourth resident who requires assistance for bed mobility and has impairment to his arms was in bed with his call light out of reach clipped to the privacy curtain. The facility has a policy that call lights must be within reach at all times.

3/07/2019 Failure to honor the resident's right to voice grievances without discrimination or reprisal and the facility must establish a grievance policy and make prompt efforts to resolve grievances. The facility failed to thoroughly investigate grievances regarding lost or damaged belongings for three residents. All three residents stated that they were missing personal clothing items and had told multiple staff members with no action taken yet. No concern forms had been filled out for these missing items and staff were not following the correct procedure for documenting and looking for missing clothing.

3/07/2019 Failure to provide appropriate care for residents who are continent or incontinent of bowel/bladder, appropriate catheter care, and appropriate care to prevent urinary tract infections. Staff failed to provide timely incontinence care for a resident. The resident is documented as always incontinent and requires extensive physical assistance from staff for toileting. On two separate days the resident was placed and left in a chair for over four hours by a CNA without being checked for incontinence. When the CNA did come back to check, the resident’s adult brief and clothing was soiled each time. The facility’s policy is to check for incontinence every two hours.

Levin & Perconti Can Help

While we feel that researching nursing homes can help prevent a lot of incidents of abuse, there is no perfect way to stop it completely. That is why the expert nursing home abuse attorneys at Levin & Perconti are prepared to fight for the rights of victims. We handle cases for all kinds of abuse, including those involving

If you or a loved one suffered abuse or neglect at The Grove of Fox Valley or another Illinois nursing home, Levin & Perconti is on your side. We’ve won millions of dollars in verdicts and settlements for our clients, and we can win for you too. If you’re ready to get started, click or call Levin & Perconti at 888-424-5757 any time 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.

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Mr. Levin, Mr. Perconti, and the firm handled a medical malpractice suit for my family. During that time, my family and I suffered the loss of my mother. Mr. Levin and Mr. Perconti were more than just our lawyers. Words can’t really express our gratitude. W.R., medical malpractice client