Complaints and New Ownership May Have Improved Care at Allegedly Substandard Lincoln Nursing Home

1114180_-_im_still_mobile_-%20sxchu.jpgEarlier this year, the Maple Ridge Care Centre in Lincoln reportedly paid nearly $19,000 in penalties as a result of poor quality conditions at the 126-bed skilled nursing facility. Additionally, the nursing home allegedly made improvements in an effort to maintain its certified status and continue to receive both Medicaid and Medicare funds. Despite the changes, the quality of care provided to facility residents is still unacceptable to some.

One critic of the Maple Ridge Care Centre is Diana Sexton. Her 40-year-old daughter, who suffers from cerebral palsy and recently had a stroke, began residing at the facility in June 2012. According to Sexton, she regularly finds her daughter sitting in urine because nursing home staff is unwilling or unable to assist her when she needs to use the restroom. Sexton stated that she has complained about the care provided at the facility on a near daily basis.

A Springfield regional long-term care ombudsman, Jamie Freschi, said the Maple Ridge Care Centre underwent a change in ownership in January 2012. Still, complaints regarding poor sanitation, rude staff, unanswered resident call lights, and rough treatment of residents allegedly continued. Freschi stated she believes the nursing home is understaffed and lacks the ability to address systemic facility issues. Tim Fields, a spokesperson for the Maple Ridge Care Centre, said the facility consistently meets or exceeds Illinois nursing home staffing requirements. According to Fields, the long-term care facility has remedied all issues previously outlined by state inspectors.

On Medicare’s Nursing Home Compare website, the quality of care residents may expect to receive at the Maple Ridge Care Centre rates one out of five possible stars. The rating is reportedly based on staffing levels, health inspections, and overall quality of resident care. In July, the Illinois Department of Public Health purportedly noted facility issues related to poor cleanliness, inadequate fall prevention, and insufficient measures taken to prevent infection in residents. According to the July report, a resident was allegedly left in the same wound dressing for 44 hours. In that time, maggots reportedly began to develop in his leg wound. State inspectors also noted that at least 11 residents suffered from the same eye infection and allegedly found another resident on the floor after she fell while attempting to use the restroom unassisted. Still, Melaney Arnold, a spokesperson for the Public Health Department, stated the deficiencies were considered to be “low-level.”

In response to a number of complaints related to poor resident care, 16 individuals from the Illinois Department of Public Health, Illinois Attorney General’s Office, and state and local law enforcement departments inspected the facility in early November. The inspection was reportedly part of the Attorney General’s Operation Guardian nursing home compliance initiative. According to a representative for the Attorney General’s Office, Cara Smith, the Maple Ridge Care Centre appeared to be clean, orderly, and sufficiently staffed in November. She purportedly believes complaints, news reports, and a change in facility ownership likely prompted the improvements.

Although facility issues sometimes exist, most nursing homes in Illinois are held to a high standard of care. Skilled nursing facilities that receive funds from Medicaid and Medicare programs are considered certified facilities and must adhere to not only state laws, but also federal laws and regulations. Unfortunately, some long-term care facilities have a history of ignoring resident needs. Many nursing home residents are unable to report instances of abuse or neglect without assistance. If you suspect a disabled or elderly long-term care facility resident is being neglected or otherwise mistreated, you should discuss your concerns with an experienced nursing home abuse and neglect attorney.

If you believe your loved one was harmed as a result of nursing home abuse or neglect in Illinois, contact the knowledgeable attorneys at Abels & Annes, P.C. today. Our committed Chicago area nursing home abuse and neglect lawyers are available 24 hours a day, seven days per week to help you protect the rights of your elderly and disabled loved ones. For a free consultation with a capable Illinois attorney, please call Abels & Annes, P.C. at (312) 475-9596 or contact us through our website.

More Blogs:

Illinois Nursing Home Cited for Violating the Voting Rights of Residents, Illinois Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Blog, November 14, 2012
Chicago Nursing Assistant Jailed in Cook County Over Alleged Nursing Home Resident Abuse, Illinois Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Blog, November 12, 2012
Additional Resources:

Officials approve of care during visit to Lincoln nursing home, by Dean Olsen, State Journal-Register
Critics say complaints continue about Lincoln nursing home, by Dean Olsen, State Journal-Register

Photo credit: jvangalen, Stock.xchng