Nonetheless, when many people complain of poor care at the same facility— and many of the allegations are substantiated, there should be real cause for concern.
CBS 2, a Chicago television station, recently reported on such a facility, Westmont Nursing & Rehab Center, in Westmont, IL. In its report, CBS interviewed staff and family members who witnessed abusive situations such as:
- Failing to provide feeding assistance to patients who need help with meals
- Unexplained bruises
- Dirty living conditions
- Giving cold showers to difficult patients
- Staff ‘throwing’ patients into bed
Lest anyone suggest that the news reporter intentionally selected these people for her story to sensationalize a tragedy, the Illinois Department of Public Health investigated many of the allegations and confirmed mistreatment.
Out of 31 investigations relating to abuse, the Illinois Department of Public Health substantiated 11 claims for poor quality care and one case of confirmed abuse.
Currently, Westmont Nursing & Rehab faces $200 per day in fines due to safety violations.
Time to look for another facility?
The thing that caught my attention regarding this story, is that many of the families who were interviewed for the story are not seeking another facility for their loved ones. In my humble opinion, for both safety and litigation-related reasons, they need to begin looking for alternative facilities for their loved ones. By keeping their family members at the nursing home, there is an implicit understanding that they approve of the care the facility is providing.
Should a lawsuit against Westmont come along, the argument will certainly be made that by keeping their loved ones in the facility– after they became aware of the suspected abuse– that they somehow approved of the care.
Maybe I’m wrong, but I’ll bet many jurors will buy into the nursing home’s lawyers argument, ‘If they thought the nursing home was doing such a bad job caring for their loved one, why did they keep them here?’
For laws related to Illinois nursing homes, look here.