I can’t imagine a more difficult decision than selecting a nursing home to care for loved one. While family and friends may visit when then can, the truth is that when a family member is placed under the care of skilled nursing facility, the individual’s care is surrendered to the staff at the facility—as it should be.
Of course every family does their best to select the best facility for the care of their loved one, but the truth is that few family members are in a position to effectively gauge the quality of a facility in an effective manner. When poor care does occur, family members are quick to blame themselves for not selecting a ‘better’ nursing home to care for their family.
While there will always be facilities that provide better care than others, family members should be able to take solace in the fact that there are federal and state laws in place to ensure basic care is provided—or at least theoretically.
A Bed Sore Case Involving a Chicago Nursing Home
I was reminded about a families sense of guilt following an episode of poor care when I read about the resolution of a nursing home negligence lawsuit that was pending in Cook County, IL. The lawsuit was initiated by the family of a 77-year-old woman who was admitted to Evergreen Health Care Center for rehabilitation following a stroke which left the elderly woman dependent upon the staff at the facility for her care.
Despite the fact that the family regularly noticed troubling findings with their loved ones care such as soiled linens—never did they anticipate that the unsanitary conditions would contribute to the death of their loved one.
The Buildup Of Inferior Nursing Home Care
Unfortunately, the unsanitary conditions coupled with their family matriarch’s immobility related to her stroke contributed to the breakdown of her skin and the eventual development of bed sores on her body.
According to reports of the bed sore lawsuit in Evergreen Park Patch, the troubling conditions that the family saw from their observations were also emblematic of internal problems at the facility, which resulted in multiple code violations and sanctions from officials with the State of Illinois Department of Health.
Only Looking Forward
While it’s always easy to look back on a situation like that and say that the family should have acted on their findings, it is important to remember that the full picture of the type of care at the facility only began to emerge after a lawsuit was initiated against the facility.
Not that a settlement of a lawsuit can undo many of the wrongs that have already occurred, but perhaps a sign of capitation, Evergreen Health Care reportedly agreed to settle the pending lawsuit against it for $575,000. Perhaps the payout (and the publicity surrounding it) will result in changes to improve the care for patients at this Chicagoland nursing home?
For laws related to Illinois nursing homes, look here.