A Word To The Wise- Stay Out Of Illinois Nursing Homes

Picture-49If you’ve been reading recent Nursing Home Law Center LLC Blog headlines, this will not come as a surprise, but some of the worst nursing homes in the country are right here in my backyard– Illinois.

According to a report from the General Accounting Office (GAO), Illinois ranks has some of the worst nursing homes in the country.  After analyzing factors such as: staffing levels, prevention of bed sores (also called: pressure sores, pressure ulcers or decubitus ulcers) and prevention of abuse, the GAO report determined that 47 Illinois Nursing Homes are among the group of facilities categorized as ‘most poorly’ performing.

The GAO report makes several suggestions to improve nursing home care:



Expand the federal program monitoring nursing homes.

Currently, there are 136 nursing homes across the country labeled as Special Focus Facilities (that are subject to increased inspections), the list would be substantially expanded to 580 nursing homes.

Use a national comparison for nursing homes.

A national comparison of nursing homes would allow authorities to more accurately track troubled facilities– regardless of their location.  The current system uses a state-by-state comparison that does not accurately reflect states with disproportionally bad nursing homes such as Illinois.

My take

I’m all for making the selection of a nursing home easier for families.  Of course, families will still need to do their homework when selecting facilities for their loved ones, but by identifying these poorly performing facilities, families can at least learn of a facilities troubles before placing a loved one there.

Compared with ‘average’ nursing homes, patients at poorly performing facilities were 46% more likely to harmed as a result of serious deficiencies compared with their peers at more successful facilities.

For the facilities, hopefully being publicly branded as a ‘poorly performing facility’ will motivate them to make changes and improve their facilities.

Lastly, it is important to look at the similarities amongst the facilities on ‘most poorly’ performing list.  These similarities are not mere coincidences.  As more people become aware of these trends they will be able to make better choices in selecting a facility for their loved ones.  Troubled facilities tend to:

  • Be larger, more than 102 patients per nursing home
  • Run as ‘for-profit’ entities
  • Part of large corporate chains
  • Have lower staffing ratios than their peers


Special Focus Facility Initiative and Listupdated September 22, 2009

Related Nursing Home Law Center LLC Blog Entries:

The Worst Nursing Homes In America

Extendicare Nursing Home Added To Government ‘Watch List’ Following Abuse Of Resident 

A Recipe For Danger: Nursing Shortage Could Reach 1M By 2020

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Jonathan did a great job helping my family navigate through a lengthy lawsuit involving my grandmother's death in a nursing home. Through every step of the case, Jonathan kept my family informed of the progression of the case. Although our case eventually settled at a mediation, I really was impressed at how well prepared Jonathan was to take the case to trial. Lisa
After I read Jonathan’s Nursing Home Blog, I decided to hire him to look into my wife’s treatment at a local nursing home. Jonathan did a great job explaining the process and the laws that apply to nursing homes. I immediately felt at ease and was glad to have him on my side. Though the lawsuit process was at times frustrating, Jonathan reassured me, particularly at my deposition. I really felt like Jonathan cared about my wife’s best interests, and I think that came across to the lawyers for the nursing home. Eric