The Claremont Rehab and Living Center in Buffalo Grove, Illinois was the scene of an extremely damaging and completely avoidable nursing home fall in December of last year. The damage included severe contusions and other head injuries, a shoulder fracture, and three broken ribs. The center has been fined $20,000 as a result of the nursing home fall, which brought to light some of the major deficiencies in training that Claremont Rehab has been getting away with for an indeterminate amount of time.
When large or severely fragile residents are being transferred from a wheelchair to a nursing home bed, a device called a mechanical lift is utilized. The device is designed to transfer a resident from a sitting position in a chair to a prone position in a bed without ever placing the entirety of the resident’s weight on a single point.
It’s not a simple machine. In fact, it’s quite complicated. And, as everyone who works in a nursing home knows, it requires two people to operate the machine and assist in moving the resident. Every mechanical lift ever designed or produced has required two people to operate it. And yet, time after time, nursing home employees attempt to operate the lift individually. When this goes wrong, the residents can suffer tremendous harm from a fall.
At the time of this incident, only one Claremont Rehab and Living Center employee was present. Nursing homes are required to inform and train all of their staff in the procedures and use of mechanical lifts. One Certified Nurses Assistant (CNA) was unable to recall ever being trained in the use of the mechanical lift. Another CNA at Claremont Rehab stated that transferring residents individually is common.
Claremont Rehab in Buffalo Grove, Illinois is an extremely large 200-bed nursing home. It also averages 1/2 hour less of CNA time per resident than the average Illinois nursing home. The math adds up quickly. Those hours of CNA time saved each day lead to big savings each week that Claremont Rehab reaps by understaffing. In that light, the $20,000 fine imposed by the state of Illinois is unlikely to have much effect on policy.
Sometimes, the only way to ensure nursing homes act responsibly is through the legal system. If you have a loved one who has been the victim of nursing home neglect in an Illinois nursing home, contact my law offices for a free and confidential evaluation of your case.