Clearbook Center in Rolling Meadows, Illinois was recently cited for a host of serious violations and fined $10,000 by the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH).
The violations revealed an assortment of neglectful behavior. One of the most important, but often overlooked, elements of care in a nursing home is the essential act of eating. Feeding nursing home residents manages to be both treacherous and monotonous.For most nursing home residents, feeding is routine. But when a person suffering from Alzheimer’s begins to deteriorate, the ability to chew and swallow becomes difficult and then impossible.
One of the residents at Clearbrook was hospitalized for intestinal obstruction. During surgery, a plastic food wrapper was found in the resident’s bowel. If you can imagine for a moment, the kind of mental and physical condition you would have to be in to eat a piece of food covered with a wrapper, you should have a sense of just how truly helpless many nursing home residents are.
Taking the appropriate care to feed each resident in a nursing home takes a great deal of time. That’s why the per diem from Medicaid is so high. Cutting back on meal assistance and supervision is one of the first places that nursing home administrators try to stretch their budgets. Often, as in this case, it proves disastrous.
There were additional violations that were part of the IDPH report. Most of them were textbook examples of a staff cutting corners. For instance, the staff was locking the wheelchair brakes on the wheelchairs of residents suffering from extreme mental retardation. When questioned, the employee responded “That is what I usually do.”
When profit takes priority over care, the residents are always the people who suffer. If you have a loved one that you feel may have been abused or neglected in an Illinois nursing home, contact my law offices for a free and confidential evaluation of your case.