Two recent state inspections noted 14 total deficiencies at a skilled nursing facility located in Libertyville. The deficiencies found at the recently privatized county facility included patient falls from both wheelchairs and beds, a lack of fall prevention measures, improper maintenance of medical equipment, assistance buttons placed in such a way it was impossible for residents to reach them, insufficient overnight staffing levels, inadequate staff training, poor sanitation, improper handling of patient medication, and other issues. In addition, Illinois Department of Health and Human Services inspectors also noted a number of elderly Winchester House residents were improperly prescribed anti-psychotic medications.
According to the Lake County nursing home’s Facility Administrator, Richard Curtis, each of the issues cited by state inspectors was remedied within four weeks of the annual license and certification survey completed in October. He said many of the problems noted at the facility were typical and Winchester House took the violations seriously. Curtis also added that three years ago, before the facility was privatized, the nursing home received 21 citations following a similar unannounced state inspection.
Currently, Winchester House provides long-term care to 177 residents and employs approximately 160 people. Three-fourths of facility employees are reportedly registered nurses. Last December, Health Dimensions Group took over management of the certified nursing home. Still, an advisory board that includes two members of the Lake County Board assists with facility oversight. According to Lake County Administrator Barry Burton, Health Dimensions Group violated only minor state requirements and is highly focused on cost containment measures.
In Illinois, most nursing homes and other long-term care facilities receive Medicare and Medicaid funds. This means they are considered certified skilled nursing facilities. Doctors who treat residents at Illinois certified nursing homes must adhere to both state and federal laws and regulations. Too often, physicians and other nursing home caregivers choose to provide patients with inappropriate pharmaceutical drugs in order to compensate for understaffing. Because many elderly and disabled nursing home patients cannot advocate on their own behalf, any suspected over-medication or other resident abuse should always be discussed with an experienced lawyer.
If your loved one was mistreated in an Illinois nursing home, do not hesitate to call Abels & Annes, P.C. at (312) 475-9596 today. Our knowledgeable Chicago nursing home abuse and neglect attorneys are available 24 hours per day, seven days per week to discuss your concerns and help you protect the rights of your elderly and disabled loved ones. At Abels & Annes, P.C., our lawyers are ready and willing to assist you with filing your nursing home abuse and neglect case. To schedule a free consultation with a dedicated Illinois attorney, please feel free to contact Abels & Annes, P.C. through the law firm’s website.
Fall Risk in Illinois and Other Nursing Homes is Highest During the First Month of Residency, Illinois Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Blog, December 8, 2012
Study Finds Norovirus Outbreaks Place Nursing Home Residents at Increased Risk in Illinois and Nationwide, Illinois Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Blog, December 5, 2012
State cites Winchester House for 14 violations, by Judy Masterson, Chicago Sun-Times