Attorneys Representing Injured Residents of Chalet of Niles
The state of Michigan and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) conduct unannounced surveys and unexpected investigations to identify violations and deficiencies that could or have caused harm to residents. When these deficiencies are identified, the nursing home must adjust policies and make improvements quickly to ensure resident safety is maintained.
In serious cases, the federal and state nursing home regulatory agencies will classify the non-complying nursing home as a Special Focus Facility (SFF). The undesirable designation and placement on the federal watchlist help families identify nursing facilities in their local community that provide substandard care. These Homes can remain on the watch list for many years until regulators are satisfied that the improvements the facility has made will remain permanent.
More than a year ago, state and federal surveyors designated Chalet of Niles a Special Focus Facility. This nursing home now undergoes more than normal surveys, inspections, and investigations. Even so, information provided on the Medicare watch list reveals that the facility has yet to make significant improvements. Some of the serious concerns are listed below.
If you are in need of a Michigan nursing home abuse attorney for a situation involving this facility or another in the states, please refer to our page here.
Chalet of Niles
This Long-Term Center is a 100-certified bed “for profit” Home providing care to the residents of Niles and Berrien and Cass Counties, Michigan and the residents of South Bend, Indiana. The Facility is located at:
911 S. 3rd St.
Niles, MI 49120
In addition to providing long-term skilled nursing care, the facility also offers:
- Advance short-term rehabilitation care
- Long-term memory care
- Specialized medical services
- Dementia Care
The state of Michigan and the Centers for Medicare Medicaid Services quickly investigate concerns identified in filed formal nursing home complaints. Typically, these facilities are found to have serious deficiencies and egregious violations. Within the last three years, Chalet of Niles has received citations involving 30 filed complaints. Additionally, within the same of time frame, there have been nine facility-reported issues that resulted in a citation.
Current Nursing Home Resident Safety Concerns
The federal Medicare.gov website contains updated information on every nursing facility in the US. The data provides information on filed complaints, opened investigations, safety concerns, incident inquiries, health violations, and dangerous hazards occurring at the Home. The site uses a star rating summary system for quick analysis of what nursing homes in the local community are providing the highest level of care.
Currently, Chalet of Niles maintains a much below average one out of five stars overall, compared all the other facilities nationwide. This rating includes one out of five stars for health inspections, one out of five stars for staffing, and for out of five stars for quality measures. Some information on the serious concerns, violations, citations and deficiencies occurring at this nursing home are listed below.
- Protect Every Resident from Resident to Resident Abuse
In a summary statement of deficiencies dated April 19, 2017, surveyors noted that the facility had failed to “prevent resident to resident abuse by providing interventions after an altercation.” The deficiency resulted in “the physical abuse of a resident.”
The state investigator reviewed the facility’s February 2, 2017, 9:21 AM Nurses Notes that revealed the resident “was in the dining room this morning, very loud and angry with cause unknown. A female resident told him he needed to pull his sock up as it was half off his foot.” The resident “immediately started yelling at her and calling her names.”
The resident was interviewed on April 18, 2017, who said they “did not recall the incident of verbal abuse between herself and [the other female resident] on the morning of February 2, 2017.” The investigator interviewed the facility’s Director of Nursing on April 19, 2017, who stated that the resident “would curse and yell F-bombs (use profanity) down the hallway.” The Director also said that “on the morning of February 2, 2017 [the resident’s] sock was coming off and [the abused female resident] told him about his sock.”
When asked about his use of profanity toward other residents and if it was considered verbal abuse, the Director of Nursing replied, “That’s his personality.” The surveyor asked if any new interventions were put in place “to prevent further ‘resident to resident’ verbal abuse” by this abusive resident.” The Director replied that “No, nothing new was done.”
- Failure to Provide Proper Housekeeping and Maintenance Services
In a summary statement of deficiencies dated October 18, 2017, the state investigator noted that the facility failed to “effectively clean 11 aluminum siding window mounting racks and effectively maintain 11 restroom commode-base caulking beads.” It was also noted the facility failed to “clean and maintain the 200 Hall and 400 Shower Room stall wall/floor juncture and caulking bead.”
The investigator also noted that the facility failed to “maintain the 300 Hall janitor closet wall/floor juncture and flooring surface.” This deficiency also included a failure to “maintain the Dining Room entrance/exit door threshold weatherstrip, clean the laundry floor fan, effectively clean [a resident’s] restroom and maintain the Nurse Station perimeter molding and entrance/exit trim [that affects] 53 residents.” This deficiency resulted “in cross-contamination, bacterial harborage, malodorous conditions, an increased risk for past entrance into the facility.”
- Failure to Develop and Enforce Care Plan Interventions to Prevent Weight Loss
In a summary statement of deficiencies dated October 18, 2017, the state investigator noted the facility’s failure “to implement Care Plan interventions to prevent weight loss for [two residents].” This deficiency resulted in “potential significant weight loss and nutritional decline.”
One incident involved a review of a resident’s October 1, 2017, Dietary Care Plan that revealed the resident “continues to be at Nutritional/hydration risk related to Alzheimer’s disease progression and edentulous [without teeth].” The deficiency involved a “Care Plan goal to be ‘I will not experience significant weight loss, will have adequate intake,’ and Care Plan intervention be ‘weighed me every month and p.r.n. (as the circumstances arise) and notify the physician, guardian, and registered dietitian of any significant weight loss, assist me with meals as needed, document intake’.”
The state investigator observed the resident on the morning of October 17, 2017, who “was slumped over and a sitting position in bed, with breakfast on the ‘over the bed’ table.” The resident’s “gown and bed were covered with food [and the resident] attempted multiple times to scoop food from a spoon and bring it to the mouth, often missed the plate, and scooped the air.”
It was noted that when the resident “had food on the spoon, she missed the mouth multiple times, spilling food on the bed and the gown [and] seldom reached the mouth with food.” The same resident was observed later that day at 12:50 PM while “in the dining room seated in a wheelchair eating lunch.” The resident “used hands to self-feed, missed the mouth many times and spilled food on the wheelchair and clothing.”
A Certified Nursing Assistant was interviewed twenty minutes later who indicated that the CNAs check the Hall-specific clipboards at the nurses’ station to see which residents need to be weighed.” The Certified Nursing Assistant stated that the CNA “should write down the resident’s weight on the clipboard and put the weight in the computer soon as possible.” However, that CNA “does not know why the [resident’s] October 11, 2017, weight was not put in the computer, it should have been done that day.” The CNA stated that they “could not find [the resident’s] September 2017 weight on the clipboard or the computer.”
The investigator interviewed the Director of Nursing on the morning of October 18, 2017, who indicated that the Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) “should have the missing weights.” That LPN compiled the weights and would locate the resident’s September 2017 weight. The Director indicated they “would be concerned with the resident with a 12-pound weight loss in three months, it is significant.”
In an interview with the Registered Dietitian, it was revealed that they “could not find a more recent weight in the Electronic Medical Record” and indicated that the resident’s “weight loss of 12 pounds in three months is a significant weight loss and should have been notified by the facility.”
- Failure to Provide Services That Meet Professional Standards of Quality
In a summary statement of deficiencies dated October 18, 2017, the state investigator noted that the facility failed to “ensure nursing staff practice nursing within their scope of practice.” The deficiency involved a resident “receiving oxygen without a physician’s orders.” The investigator supported the identification of the deficiency by using the Scope of Practice of Health Professionals in the State of Michigan, Pratt, P. and Katz, L. Michigan State Medical Society, 2001 that reads in part:
“While nurses may perform certain duties that fall under the purview of medicine (e.g., prescribing certain medications) they may do so only at the delegation and under the supervision of a physician.”
- Failure to Assist Those Who Require Help with Eating/Drinking, Grooming, and Personal Hygiene
In a summary statement of deficiencies dated October 18, 2017, the state surveyor noted the facility’s failure “to provide personal hygiene care [for two residents].” This deficiency resulted in a resident “not receiving consistent bathing or showering and the potential for embarrassment for [the resident] when she was left in soil clothing and equipment for an extended period of time.”
The state investigator reviewed the facility’s Showers/Skin Assessment policy and procedure that revealed:
“To ensure each resident is provided showers/back to maintain proper hygiene and comfort, shower/bath will be offered to residents at a minimum of two times a week and as needed to promote good general hygiene.”
“Resident preferences will be taken into consideration when providing showers or bad as including but not limited to the time of day and type of bathing and any resident physical restrictions.”
The investigator reviewed the Computerized Certified Nursing Assistant charted for baths/showers printed on October 18, 2017. The document revealed that the resident “refused to bath/shower on October 10, 2017, at 4:09 AM. No further shower documentation was available to indicate whether or not [the resident] have been offered, received, and refused a shower or bath between October 10, 2017, and October 18, 2017.”
- Failure to Provide Proper Treatment to Prevent the Development of a Bedsore Allowing Existing Bedsore to Heal
In a summary statement of deficiencies dated October 18, 2017, the state investigator noted that the facility had failed to “provide proper treatment to prevent the development pressure ulcers… [that resulted] in the development of unavoidable facility-acquired pressure ulcer and the potential for pain and infection.”
- Failure to Ensure That the Nursing Home Area Remained Free of Accident Hazards
In a summary statement of deficiencies dated October 18, 2017, it was noted that the facility had failed “to implement a fall intervention for [a resident] reviewed for accidents and hazards.” This deficiency resulted in “the potential for an unwitnessed fall.” The state investigator reviewed the resident’s Care Plan dated October 6, 2017, with the focus stating “I am at risk for falls related to cognitive impairments, requires assistance for transfers and mobility-related tasks, decreased strength and endurance, and a recent stroke. Goal: The resident will have a safe environment maintained through the next review. Interventions: Resident had a fall, no injuries. Bed alarm placed to bed and grip or socks on at all times. Revision on September 25, 2017.”
However, an observation was made of the resident on October 17, 2017, who was “noted to be in his bed. Then [a family member] entered the room and helped [the resident] sit up and transfer from his bed to his wheelchair. No alarm sounded. [The family member] lifted the blankets, the sheet, the incontinence packed, the fitted sheet, and no bed alarm was found.” The family member stated “it was here last night. It should be there.”
The investigator interviewed the Certified Nursing Aid later that day who reported that “there is no reason she can think of that the alarm would be off his bed and is still a part of his Care Plan.”
How to Protect a Loved One Being Abused in a Michigan Nursing Home
If your loved one is being abused, neglected or mistreated while residing at Chalet of Niles, or any nursing facility, hiring an attorney can help stop the abuse now. With a Michigan nursing home negligence lawyer, your family can take immediate legal action to correct the situation inside the facility or have your loved one transferred to another nursing home. An attorney working on your behalf can ensure your loved one receives the highest level of medical care provided by outside services while residing at the nursing home.
Additionally, your family is entitled to receive financial compensation for your loved one’s injuries. These monetary recovery claims are typically handled through contingency fee agreements. This arrangement allows immediate legal representation without the need for any upfront payment.
For more information on local facilities and attorneys with experience prosecuting nursing home abuse cases, refer to the pages below: