Heather Rehabilitation and Health Care Center Abuse and Neglect Attorneys
Family and visitors are often unaware that their loved one in a nursing facility is being abused, neglected or mistreated by caregivers, employees or other patients. In some cases, the families believe that their loved one’s challenges are simply a natural progression of a debilitating disease, when in fact abuse is occurring.
If you suspect that your loved one is the victim of mistreatment while residing in a Cook County nursing facility, contact the Illinois Nursing Home Law Center Attorneys for immediate legal intervention. Our team of lawyers has successfully resolved cases exactly like yours. Let us begin working on your case today so we can ensure your family receives the financial compensation they deserve for your damages, and those responsible for the harm are held legally accountable.Heather Rehabilitation and Health Care Center
This Medicare/Medicaid-participating center is a 173-certified bed facility providing services to residents of Harvey and Cook County, Illinois. The "for profit" long-term care (LTC) home is located at:
15600 South Honore Street
Harvey, Illinois, 60426
In addition to providing 24/7 skilled nursing care, Heather Rehab and Health Care Center also offers:
- Behavioral Health Care
- Short-term rehabilitation
- Memory care
The investigators for the state of Illinois and federal nursing home regulatory agencies have the legal responsibility of penalizing any facility that has violated rules and regulations that harmed or could have harmed a resident. These penalties often include monetary fines and denying payment of Medicare services.
Over the last three years, Heather Rehabilitation and Health Care Center receive sixteen formally filed complaints and self-reported one serious issue that all resulted in citations. Additional documentation about fines and penalties can be found on the Illinois Department of Public Health Nursing Home Reporting Website concerning this nursing facility.Harvey Illinois Nursing Home Safety Concerns
Our attorneys review data on every long-term and intermediate care facility in Illinois. Families can obtain the same publically-available information by visiting numerous state and federal government databases including the IL Department of Public Health website and Medicare.gov. This data is a valuable tool to use when choosing the best location to place a loved one who needs the highest level of services and care in a safe environment.
According to Medicare, this facility maintains an overall rating of one out of five stars, including two out of five stars concerning health inspections, one out of five stars for staffing issues and three out of five stars for quality measures. The Cook County neglect attorneys at Nursing Home Law Center have found serious deficiencies and safety concerns at Heather Rehabilitation and Health Care Center that include:
- Failure to Protect Every Resident from All Forms of Abuse Including Physical, Mental, Sexual Assault, Physical Punishment and Neglect by Anybody
- Failure to Ensure Residents Receive Proper Treatment to Prevent New Bedsores or Heal Existing Pressure Sores
- Failure to Provide an Environment Free of Unnecessary Physical Restraints
- Failure to Provide Every Resident an Environment Free of Accident Hazards and Provide Adequate Supervision to Prevent Avoidable Accidents
- Failure to Provide and Implement an Infection Protection and Control Program
- Failure to Immediately Notify the Resident, the Resident’s Doctor or Family Members of a Change in the Resident’s Condition Including a Decline in Their Health or Injury
In a summary statement of deficiencies dated March 9, 2018, the state investigators documented that the facility had failed to “ensure one resident was free from abuse.” The incident involved a resident with “memory problems and impaired cognition.”
Documentation revealed that at 9:05 AM on March 7, 2018, a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) “was summoned to assist [a resident after the resident] had an incontinent episode on the floor and himself.” The CNA asked the resident “to get into the chair, [then yelled] this is to (vulgar language) much.” The CNA then repeated this and stated that “he got (vulgar language) on the floor.”
The CNA “then walked behind the nurse’s station stating [the resident] has (vulgar language) on the floor, this is what he does.” The CNA then “walked back over to [the resident] to assist with the transfer.” As the CNA wheeled the resident away, the CNA “continued with the vulgar language. As [the CNA rolled the resident] down the hall toward the shower room, the surveyor followed.” At that time, the CNA stated, “what the (vulgar language) is she following me for.”
The following day at 4:55 PM, the facility Administrator stated that “yelling, and swearing is considered verbal abuse.” The Administrator stated that they do not “understand why it the CNA behaved in this manner that she did, the behavior was inappropriate.
The surveyors reviewed the resident’s Care Plan that shows of the patient “is at risk for abuse related to some dependent on staff and others for care.” The resident “will remain safe, calm, and free from abuse.” The investigative team reviewed the facility’s policy titled: Abuse dated February 2017 that reads in part:
“The facility affirms the rights of our residents to be free from abuse. Verbal abuse is the oral, written or gestured language that willfully includes disparaging or derogatory terms to the residents or families or within their hearing distance regardless of age, ability to comprehend or disability.”
In a summary statement of deficiencies dated March 9, 2018, the state investigators documented that the facility had failed to “document a weekly skin assessment and implement preventive measures to heal and prevent potentially new pressure ulcers from developing.” The deficient practice by the nursing staff involved one resident.”
The surveyors observed the patient in bed on a regular mattress at 1:48 PM on March 6, 2018. At that time, a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) assisted the resident “to turn to the right side to observe the alteration in the skin condition.” The resident was observed “to have multiple areas of scant blood noted on [their] incontinence brief. Skin excoriated on the left buttocks and thigh areas with several small areas. No dressings noted to the area.”
The CNA stated “I am familiar with the care for [this resident]. There has not been any dressing on [this resident] for a while. I apply cream to the areas.”
On March 8, 2018, the Director of Nursing said that “there should be weekly skin assessments on all residents with any alterations and skin impairment.” The Director said that the “Resident Care Coordinator makes rounds with the Wound Care Physician, so, she would know about the orders for the treatment or [the ulcerated skin].”
The Resident Care Coordinator told the surveyors that afternoon that “I make rounds with the Wound Care Physician and write-down orders he says verbally during the rounds. The receptionist scans in the Wound Care Physician notes into the electronic health record. I do not review the Wound Care Physician’s note in the chart. There should be weekly notes documenting skin conditions. I am not sure why these recommendations were not followed up.”
In a summary statement of deficiencies dated April 14, 2017, the state investigative team noted that the facility had failed to “follow their Restraint Policy and failed to assess, monitor, evaluate, obtain consents and physician’s orders for a wheelchair seatbelt, torso support, bilateral bed bolsters and bilateral side rails. This failure applies to one resident reviewed for restraints.”
The state investigative team reviewed the resident’s Physician Order Sheet (POS) that revealed the patient’s Quarterly MDS (Minimum Data Set) Section involving Restraints dated July 16, 2017 “indicates no bed rails or trunk restraints were in place.” The document does reveal that the patient is severely impaired.
The resident was observed, “lying in bed with bilateral full side rails in the highest position, and bilateral bed bolsters in place.” Subsequent observation of the resident found the resident “sitting in a specialized wheelchair with torso support and seatbelt fast and around [them]. The resident was unable to follow instructions ‘to release the torso support or lap seatbelt.”
The surveyors interviewed a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) who stated that the resident “had the bed bolsters for a couple of months because we were afraid [the resident] would get her head stuck in the rails.” The CNA said that the patient “would move constantly and could move herself crosswise in the bed. No documentation was found or presented to indicate when the above devices were implemented.” Surveyors made multiple observations of the resident and found the patient “stationery, not moving when in bed or when up in a wheelchair.”
In a summary statement of deficiencies dated April 14, 2017, a state surveyor documented that the facility had failed to “provide supervision for two residents while smoking and failed to ensure a safe wheelchair to bed transfer for one resident.” These failures apply to [two of twenty residents who participated in the facility’s psychosocial program and [one resident] reviewed for falls.”
Part of the investigator’s findings included observation of a resident “sitting in a wheelchair in the smoking room on the second floor.” At that time, the resident “was observed to be alert, and smoking a cigarette.” The patient was “wearing a nightgown with several small holes in the lap area.”
The resident “said the holes in her gown were caused by the ash falling from her cigarettes when she gives other smokers a light from her cigarette. There is no way to call staff in an emergency. No staff was present in the smoking area monitoring residents at this time.”
A review of the resident’s Smoking Risk Assessment dated April 12, 2017, revealed that the patient “was a long-time smoker, who smoked hourly.” The resident “was assessed to have some moderate behaviors that put her at risk for smoking such as inappropriately providing smoking materials to others.” The resident’s previous Smoking Risk Assessment revealed that the patient “had minimal problems with understanding of following smoking policies, smoking used butts, smoking others’ cigarettes, begging or taking others’ cigarettes, and having the ability to be redirected by staff.”
The facility Director of Psychosocial Program revealed that the “smoking room was open from 7:30 AM until midnight and the patients in the smoking room are checked every fifteen minutes.” The Director said that “she was not aware that [that resident] was lighting others resident cigarettes and that she had burn holes in her clothing.” The Director said that “someone should have noticed that [the resident] had burn holes in her clothing and investigated [saying] ‘I would not encourage residents to light other resident’s cigarettes.’”
In a summary statement of deficiencies dated April 14, 2017, a state investigator noted the nursing home's failure to “disinfect the glucometer for manufacture’s specified time and did not follow optimal time required for disinfecting all prevalent organisms.” The nursing home also “failed to ensure staff was knowledgeable about the policy and cleaning of the glucometer, and they also failed to perform handwashing/hygiene after providing direct care for [a resident].”
The investigators state that “these figures affect one resident” and have “the potential to affect three residents reviewed for blood glucose monitoring.”
During an interview with a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN), it was revealed that the nursing staff members “are to clean the glucometer’s when visibly soiled.” The LPN said that “they use hydrogen peroxide (non-bleach) wipes to disinfect the machines.” The LPN then added that “they are also to clean the glucometer between resident use.”
The Licensed Practical Nurse then asked, “if she was supposed to clean the glucometer [before] doing the blood glucose monitoring for [one resident].” The LPN “also stated that each medication cart contains one glucometer which is used on multiple residents; they do not have resident-designated machines [and that] the facility protocol for cleaning the meter, they are to keep the device wet with the disinfectant solution for twenty seconds.”
In a summary statement of deficiencies dated February 22, 2018, the state investigator documented the facility’s failure to “notify resident’s responsible party when a decision to transfer the resident from the facility took place.”
The incident involved an interview with a family member on February 15, 2018, who said that the resident “was transferred to the hospital and no notification was given. She and her husband went to visit [the resident and the resident] was not there. At this time, the facility told him that [the resident] was at the hospital.”
The Administrator stated that “the facility made a mistake.” The Administrator stated that “I have talked to the family.” The resident “was brought into the facility from the hospital. On January 30, 2018, we transferred [the resident]. There was no emergency contact in [the resident’s] record.” The Administrator “was aware of the hospital that [the resident] came from.”
Do you believe that your grandparent, parent or spouse died prematurely or suffered serious injury while living at Heather Rehabilitation and Health Care Center? If so, contact the Illinois nursing home abuse and neglect lawyers at Nursing Home Law Center at (800) 926-7565 today. Our law firm fights aggressively on behalf of Cook County victims of mistreatment living in long-term facilities including nursing homes in Harvey. Contact us now to schedule a free case review to discuss how to obtain justice and resolve a financial compensation claim.
Allow our reputable attorneys to handle every aspect of your compensation claim against every individual or entity that caused harm to your loved one. Our years of experience in handling nursing home abuse recompense claims can ensure a successful resolution of your case. We accept every case involving nursing home abuse, wrongful death or personal injury through a contingency fee agreement. This arrangement will postpone payment of our legal services until after our lawyers have resolved your case through a negotiated settlement or jury trial award.
We provide every client a “No Win/No Fee” Guarantee, meaning if we cannot secure financial compensation on your behalf, you owe us nothing. We can begin working on your case today to ensure your family receives monetary recovery for your damages. All information you share with our law offices will remain confidential.Sources: