The Hillcrest Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Joliet, Illinois will be stripped of its license to operate after two suspicious deaths occurred on the premises over a period of just six months. The first nursing home death took place in August. A 37-year-old woman overdosed on two antidepressants. She was prescribed both of the drugs, but with a history of drug abuse, she should never have had access to more than her scheduled dose.The second nursing home death occurred in January when a resident was found unresponsive in her room. There was some evidence to suggest that she may have been deliberately killed, but no charges have been filed so far.
The Illinois Department of Public Health decried the inventory practices taking place in the Hillcrest Nursing and Rehabilitation Center. In many cases, it was simply impossible to tell how much of the facility’s narcotic inventory was present or missing. It’s unfortunate that these two nursing home deaths had to take place before the state of Illinois was willing or able to take action on behalf of the other residents of the facility. Unfortunately, it often takes egregious actions for the state to be authorized to take action. The Federal government has also recently stripped the nursing home of the ability to receive Medicaid or Medicare funding, although I doubt the families of these victims will take more than modest comfort from these later developments.
Through the civil courts, nursing homes that allow drug abuse, or those that create a situation where residents are given unnecessary drugs can be punished for such behavior. If you have a loved one who you feel has been abused or neglected in an Illinois nursing home, you don’t have to wait until the state of Illinois or the federal government takes action. At my law firm, we have years of experience with nursing home abuse and nursing home neglect cases in Illinois and we welcome the chance to speak to you.