The $25,000 fine levied by the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) against the Good Samaritan Nursing Home in Knoxville is extraordinarily high by the standards set by the department. Typically, the only acts of nursing home neglect that earn such a large fine result in a wrongful death. Bed sores, nursing home falls, medication errors, and other acts of neglect and abuse almost always receive lesser citations.
The fact that the IDPH has chosen to levy a fine this significant is a sign that something is seriously wrong at the facility.
The last time we checked in with the Good Samaritan Nursing Home in Knoxville, Illinois, there was an investigation into a rash of nursing home falls at the facility. The nursing home had failed to address the falls, or take proper precautions to prevent additional nursing home falls from taking place.
The current investigation is almost more troubling because of how little detail there is into the individual instances of nursing home neglect. The report states: “During this survey there were serious concerns found in the following areas: the failure to provide supervision follow up interventions for residents involved in accidents; the failure to provide for adequate staffing based on facility census/current condition of residents with behavioral issues, the failure to report a potential resident to resident abuse, and the failure to operationalize the facility’s abuse policy.”
The rest of the report is a frightening look at an extremely incompetent administration and a depressed and understaffed nursing home. One incident involved a resident who walked past the administrator’s offices and right out of the facility. The Administrator was in her office and watched it happen. Rather than assist, she called the only nurse on duty to track the wayward resident down.
The Director of Nursing at Good Samaritan Knoxville told the investigator that “Our (mechanical lift) is ancient and not safe enough to use. It only has one size sling and residents can easily wiggle out of it, so the staff just don’t use it and do manual lifts on residents instead.”
Mechanical lifts, like the Hoyer Lift, utilize different sized slings to completely support residents who are unable to bear weight on their legs. Hoyer lifts, and other mechanical lifts like it, are standard pieces of equipment. Often, physicians will specify that a resident needs to be lifted with a mechanical lift. The fact that any nursing home is operating without a functioning mechanical lift indicates a lack of oversight and fosters a dangerous environment.
If you have a loved one in an Illinois nursing home, and you feel they may have been abused or neglected by nursing home staff or fellow nursing home residents, contact our Chicago nursing home lawyers for a free and confidential evaluation of your case.