A 90-page survey filed in September 2010 by the Illinois Health Department depicts Plaza Nursing & Rehab Center in Midlothian, IL as a chaotic place with little regard for residents’ safety and quality of life [Plaza Nursing and Rehab Center (pdf)] . In particular, Plaza failed to make shower and toilet areas safe for residents, which led to many unsupervised and life-threatening falls. According to the survey, at least nine residents suffered injurious falls.
In addition to violating patients’ right to a safe and supervised environment, Plaza staff were also guilty of:
- Keeping water temperatures in bathrooms scalding hot
- Accepting money from patients who asked to do them “favors”
- Closing the patient smoking room without first notifying patients, and without providing an alternative spot
- Failing to clean up dangerous pooling water adjacent to bathtubs
- Serving food in an unsanitary environment, with flies
- Administering injections without first pulling patients’ privacy curtains
Reading through the report, it’s clear that staff at this 91-bed facility are frequently overwhelmed, and don’t have the capacity to treat patients who require specialized care. It’s also clear that a strong undercurrent of abuse is happening at Plaza. According to the survey, “an anonymous note was found on the floor of the administrator, which said that one of the nurses was abusing residents in the facility.”
Reports of suspicious bruises and scratches were common throughout the report, as were complaints of nurses being “rough” with residents. One suspicious incident described a man who tipped out of his wheelchair on facility grounds. The reason for the incident remains murky.
“Nothing addresses how the wheelchair became in disrepair, nor what regular maintenance, including monitoring, the staff will do to prevent it from happening again,” the survey said.
Along with unacceptable behavior from nurses, certain unstable residents who were admitted posed direct threats to other residents. In January of 2010, one resident pushed another resident because “he was frustrated that he could not get the other resident to move out of his way.” The resident who instigated the fight had a history of psychological problems, including bipolar disorder. At least two of the home’s 80 residents had schizophrenia, according to the survey.
Medicare, on its Nursing Home Compare Web site, gave Plaza one star out of a possible five. As a result of the findings in the Health Department survey, Plaza was fined $10,000 in the area of nursing.
If you believe a loved one was mistreated or abused at Plaza Health & Rehab, we would honor the opportunity to speak with you. All of our consultations are free and completely confidential.
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