New report gives Illinois’ nursing homes a failing grade

When our aging loved ones require specialized medical care, the best option is often to turn to a nursing home to ensure they receive proper treatment. In such situations, we must trust that the staff at the nursing home will provide an adequate standard of care and will not mistreat our loved one.

Unfortunately, not all nursing homes live up to the reasonable expectations family members have for their loved ones. Recently, Families for Better Care conducted a study of nursing homes in all 50 states across the country. They evaluated the long-term care facilities on a number of factors, including staffing levels and the number of deficiencies and complaints.

Illinois was one of 11 states to receive a failing grade for the care provided by its nursing homes. Overall, the state ranked 42nd in the country for nursing home care.

According to the report, over 96 percent of the nursing homes in Illinois have been cited for deficiencies. In addition, over one-quarter of Illinois' long-term care facilities have been cited for severe deficiencies.

Staffing levels at Illinois' nursing homes also do not measure up, as residents receive, on average, only 2.14 hours of direct care in nursing homes daily. In addition, the report found that Illinois' nursing home residents receive an average of less than one hour of care from a certified RN each day. Only around half of all nursing homes in Illinois have above-average levels of direct care and RN staff.

These statistics are alarming when considering the quality of care Illinois residents receive in nursing homes. If the facilities do not have adequate staffing levels, ensuring the well-being of those in the nursing home can be challenging.

The Illinois Nursing Home Care Act

Under Illinois law, residents of nursing homes are protected from abuse and neglect that leads to injuries. Under the Illinois Nursing Home Care Act, abuse and neglect of residents is prohibited, and those who are aware of abuse or neglect are required to report the information.

The statute provides that abuse includes "any physical or mental injury or sexual assault." Common injuries that may result from the abuse or neglect of a resident at a nursing home include the development and progression of bed sores, fall injuries, infection and dehydration. Another concern, particularly in facilities without adequate staffing levels, is the potential for a resident to elope, or leave the facility unaccompanied. In such cases, the resident is at risk of being injured while outside the grounds of the nursing home.

If you believe your loved one has been abused or neglected while in the care of a nursing home, seek the advice of a skilled personal injury attorney to ensure your loved one's rights are protected.