The death of a 42-year-old Paul McCann, a resident at an Illinois Group Home is raising some eyebrows both regarding the type of care provided to people in these living arrangements and the lack of transparency the state has in place with respect to regulation of these facilities.
The Chicago Tribune recently had an insightful article, “Memo: Ill knew of group home abuses before death” highlighting the recent death of McCann who apparently died from injuries he sustained when he was assaulted by two staff members at a group home operated by Graywood Foundation in January.
Despite the fact that the Illinois Department of Human Services, the agency responsible for regulating group home, actually found the conditions to to so heinous that they blocked the facility from accepting new residents. A 2009 memo prepared after an investigation at Graywood by the Illinois Department of Human Services Office of Inspector General further concluded that:
- The facility was obstructing investigations
- Had substantially higher rates of substantiated complaints related to abuse
- Fostered an environment of no employee accountability
Even after documented concerns regarding patient safety were filed with the state, no warnings were communicated to other residents or their families—simply because such disclosure is not mandated by the state. Which in turn, highlights the lack of applicable legislation to disclose information about group homes in Illinois.
Praised by some as an alternative to institutional settings, Illinois groups homes house and residential care facilities for the elderly (RCFE) care for more than 9,300 mentally and physically disabled people across the state. Though many facilities indeed provide a tremendous opportunity for disabled people to live with an sense of pride in a supportive arrangement, we certainly need to re-evaluate the need more intensive inspection and regulation of this expanding living arrangement.
Related Nursing Homes Abuse Blog Entries: