The Elms Nursing Home in Macomb, Illinois is a county owned and operated nursing home with 98 beds. According to Medicare.gov, the facility is well staffed and has only been in operation since 2002. This makes it particularly shocking that nursing home falls are occurring at an alarming rate, and that the The Elms is making no effort to remediate the problem.
According to a report filed by the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), The Elms is well staffed for an Illinois nursing home with almost 5 hours of staffed time per resident in the facility. That means that, on average, a resident should be getting 5 hours of personal face time with a trained nurse or other nursing home employee each day.
With that amount of care, the facts reported by the IDPH are stunning. Between May and November of 2011, a female resident fell four times. The final fall resulted in a fracture of her right leg. After any fall, The Elms should evaluate and adjust the patient’s care plan to reflect changes that are designed to prevent further falls. And yet, during that time, there were no new interventions made whatsoever, which is a clear sign of nursing home neglect.
After a return to The Elms from a Macomb hospital following surgery to repair her right leg, The Elms still had not made any changes to her care. A day later, she fell again. At the time the report was written, it was unclear if she would ever be able to walk again.
Similar findings were reported concerning other residents. One male resident was found sitting on the floor with a large bruise on his face. No new recommendations for care were entered into his care plan either.
Nursing home falls can be caused by a number of factors. In some cases, a declining physical condition is to blame. New medications or a lack of assistive devices can also be at fault. Nursing homes are responsible for maintaining care plans for each resident who is a risk for a fall, and taking action to ensure that the chances for nursing home falls are as limited as possible; anything short of that should be deemed nursing home neglect.
Other blog posts on nursing home falls: