For the 11th time this year, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan gathered 14 police officers and and state officials to conduct an unannounced sweep of an Illinois Nursing Home. The sweep was conducted to assure that the facility was complying with state and federal regulations. This time, the nursing home sweep took place at Golden Moments Senior Care Center in Jacksonville, IL.
During the three hours officials spent at Golden Moments they inspected the facility and review patient files. The sweep revealed that most patient files were in proper order and patients were receiving proper care. However, the sweep did reveal that the the facility failed to conduct ‘risk assessments’ for three convicted sex offenders housed at the facility.
Though no specific reason was cited by officials in making organizing this raid, Golden Moments has a history of providing questionable patient care including an episode where a 74-year old patient choked to death on food. The incident resulted in a $50,000 fine against the facility.
According to Cara Smith deputy chief of staff for the Illinois Attorney General, “We’ve been looking for ways of improving safety for vulnerable adults. These sweeps are important to send a message to the facilities and the residents that the agencies are working together to ensure safety.”
I applaud the Attorney General’s decision to step-up random checks on Illinois Nursing Homes. Certainly, these random inspections will hopefully keep operators on their toes and perhaps provide the added incentive to improve patient care.
While governmental inspections such as this are certainly important, I strongly encourage all families and patients to report episodes of poor care to neglect to officials at the department of health in the state where the nursing home is located. In many situations, an inspection triggered by a complaint to a department of health can not only provide answers to how an incident may have occurred, but also trigger an appropriate penalty against the facility should the findings merit such action.