The Sandwich Rehabilitation & Health Care Center in Sandwich, Illinois was fined $20,000 for failure to report evidence of abuse to authorities and to the families of the victims in the facility.
Sandwich, Illinois is a city that’s the size of a small town about an hour and a half west of Chicago. Rt. 34 runs directly through it, and is generally the only state highway nearby. This case should serve as a reminder that nursing home abuse is not a Chicago problem; it’s a worldwide problem.
By the standards of nursing home abuse that I cover here on the blog, this is a relatively harmless incident. As any follower of this blog knows, there are many instances of nursing home abuse that are truly shocking and horrific.
A CNA (certified nurses aide) employed by Sandwich Rehabilitation used their cell phone to videotape three of the residents in embarrassing and humiliating situations. In one recording, a resident is hanging off of her bed while the viewer repeatedly says “Good morning, beautiful,” to her. In another recording, a man doesn’t want to wake up in the morning and is lightly slapped on the face by another CNA.
While it’s true that these incidents do not rise to the level of violence and abuse that tends to make the news, they are still extremely serious for several reasons.
First and foremost, these residents are being humiliated, their health is being put in danger, and they deserve much better from the Sandwich Rehabilitation nursing home staff and administration.
Also, these are instances of abuse that were captured on video that was subsequently recovered by nursing home employees and delivered to the Sandwich Rehabilitation administration. The abuse that was not recorded and recovered could be much, much worse. This alone warrants further investigation.
And finally, Sandwich Rehabilitation ignored its own policies by not notifying the families of the victims. If the administration is willing to conduct what amounts to a cover-up of such relatively small incidents where no injuries took place, what wouldn’t they be willing to hide from family members?