Wednesday, November 26, 2008

What Is the Leading Cause of Injury Death Among Seniors?

If you guessed falls, give yourself a gold star. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, falls are the leading cause of injury deaths among older adults. They are also the most common cause of nonfatal injuries and hospital admissions for trauma. And the problem isn’t getting better.

The rates of fall related deaths among older adults has risen significantly over the last decade. The increase is likely related to the fact that people are simply living longer. It is estimated that one third of adults 65 and older fall each year in the United States. About 25 percent of those who fall will suffer moderate to severe injuries such as bruises, hip fractures or head traumas. These injuries may be dangerous on their own. As importantly, however, they can limit mobility.

A hip fracture, for example, may heal promptly in a younger person. For a senior, however, the same injury may confine them to a wheelchair for years. Hip fractures are the most common type of fall-related fracture. The loss of mobility associated with a hip fracture can have serious consequences. Up to one in four adults who lived independently before their hip fracture, has to stay in a nursing home for at least a year after their injury. About one out of five hip fracture patients dies within a year of their injury.

Falls, however, are not an inevitable consequence of aging. Some hospitals and nursing homes treat falls as an unexpected event. Without adequate precautions, however, falls are not surprising. Each year a typical nursing home with 100 beds reports 100 to 200 falls. Good health care providers understand that falls are one of the greatest risks to senior citizens. Taking precautions to assess patients for fall risk and prevent falls, should be one of their highest priorities. When it isn’t, patients suffer.

Stores and businesses catering to the elderly also need to be aware of the risks. Simple things like clearing the snow outside a grocery store can make a dramatic difference to senior customers.

Here are some things that you can do to prevent dangerous falls for yourself and aging friends and relatives:

1. Be Aware of the Risk
Once you know that falls are common and dangerous, you can take steps to avoid them.

2. Exercise Regularly
Exercise programs like Tai Chi can increase strength and improve balance. Both are important to prevent falls.

3. Monitor Medications
Medication errors are a common cause of falls. Perhaps more common, though, are routine side effects of medications that were appropriately prescribed. Ask your doctor or pharmacist to review your medicines periodically to reduce side effects and eliminate unnecessary medications.

4. Have Your Eyes Checked
You aren’t going to walk well if you aren’t seeing well. Get your eyes checked at least once a year to make sure you’re on track.

5. Improve Lighting
Getting more light in your living space will help you see the obstacles more clearly.

6. Get Rid of the Hazards
By now, you probably know the things you are likely to trip over. Get rid of them. The same is true for hospitals and nursing homes. If you know a patient will need to use the restroom during the night, there shoudn’t be cords or trays or blankets on the floor.

7. Use Assistive Devices
For some, unsteadiness may not be avoidable. Things like canes and walkers may be invaluable in these situations. Hospitals and nursing homes have other options like fall pads, alarms that alert staff that a patient is getting out of bed, or hip pads. All of these can be helpful to prevent injury.

One of the most important things seniors can do to stay healthy is to stay active. Avoiding falls is a key step in maintaining an active life.

The majority of the statistics for this article were obtained from a series of articles produced by the Centers for Disease Control. If you are interested in learning more, you can find the articles at www.cdc.gov/ncipc/factsheets/adultfalls.htm


Note: If clicking the link above does not work, try cutting and pasting it into your browser's address bar.

Man dies from Bowel Obstruction and Bladder Infection After Stay at Dawson Nursing Home

WILLIAM L. DAWSON NURSING HOME
3500 S. Giles Ave
FINED- September 29, 2004
William L. Dawson Nursing Home was fined $10,000 for
failing to instruct staff on proper placement of
catheters, to replace a resident’s cut and damaged
catheter and to monitor urine output. Staff did not
realize a resident’s catheter was placed incorrectly
and blocked the flow of urine for two days. The man
was hospitalized with an infection and bowel
obstruction and later died.

Waterford Nursing and Rehab Fined for Failure to Supervise Patient

THE WATERFORD NURSING AND REHAB
7445 N. Sheridan Road in Chicago.
FINED- 2003
The Waterford Nursing and Rehab was fined $5,000 for
failure to properly supervise a resident to prevent
him from leaving the facility undetected.
As part of an incident investigation, surveyors
learned a resident, who had been identified as an
elopement risk and was in need of constant monitoring,
sustained cuts and bruises after leaving the facility
unnoticed.
The resident lived on a locked unit, which required a
code to enter the elevator but would allow someone to
exit without a code. A resident could enter the
elevator when it stopped to let someone off and then
travel to an unlocked floor.
The facility's front door did not have an alarm and
was to be monitored after 5:30 p.m. On the night of
the incident, there was only one nurse to cover the
first floor and the locked unit. Although the facility
was aware of the resident's monitoring needs, he was
left on the locked unit without a nurse.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Wheelchair Bound Resident Falls Down Stairs at Washington Heights Nursing Home

WASHINGTON HEIGHTS NURSING HOME
1010 W. 95th St. in Chicago
FINED- 2003

Washington Heights Nursing Home was fined $10,000 for
failure to provide adequate supervision to prevent
injury to a resident.
Responding to complaints, Department surveyors
learned a resident sustained scrapes, bruises and
severe swelling to her face and scalp after falling
down a flight of stairs while in a wheelchair.
Despite obvious signs of trauma, staff put the
resident in the wheelchair and carried her back to her
room without stabilizing or assessing for injuries.
Staff did not hear an alarm sound in the stairwell
and the door alarm panel at the nurse's station was
turned off at the time off the incident. During the
Department's investigation, a surveyor found the door
alarm working, but the sound was almost inaudible.
Interviews with employees revealed there was
insufficient staff supervising the area at the time of
the incident. One employee stated she was not
supervising the area because she thought another
employee, who was at dinner, was doing it. In fact,
three of the four nurse aides on the floor went to
dinner at approximately the same time. Another nurse,
who was working on the floor because an employee had
called in, was summoned to work on a different floor
and left without notifying the nurse in charge.
The Department-ordered plan of correction required
the facility to take the necessary precautions to
ensure the residents' environment is free of accident
hazards; to educate all staff in their role of
providing care to and monitoring of residents; and to
document any change in a resident's behavior.

Washington Heights Nursing Home Fined after Resident Dies from Choking Incident

WASHINGTON HEIGHTS NURSING HOME
1010 W. 95th St. in Chicago
FINED- July 19, 2002
Washington Heights Nursing Home was fined $10,000 for
failure to provide nursing services in accordance with
a resident's needs.
As part of an incident investigation, Department
surveyors learned a resident, who was to be served a
soft diet, began choking after eating polish sausage.
Staff performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)
and the Heimlich maneuver, and then called 911. An
employee told paramedics the resident had choked, but
was fine and only needed to go to the hospital for an
evaluation. En route to the hospital, paramedics
removed a two-inch piece of meat from the resident's
airway.
The resident died at the hospital of acute food
aspiration and cardiac and pulmonary arrest. The
resident was assessed as having chewing and swallowing
difficulties and needed to be supervised while eating
and monitored for any signs of aspiration. Surveyors
found no evidence the resident was closely monitored.
The Department-ordered plan of correction required
the facility to review and revise, if necessary, its
policies and procedures pertaining to dietary orders;
to ensure that enough qualified staff are available to
take care of residents; and to ensure staff abide by
residents' dietary restrictions.

Warren Barr Pavilion Fined for Poor Supervision and Failure to Give Prescribed Medications

WARREN BARR PAVILION
66 W. Oak St. in Chicago.
FINED- 2003
Warren Barr Pavilion was fined $5,000 for an incident
in which a resident sustained a bruised and cut arm
after leaving the facility unsupervised. Police found
the resident wandering in the street and took her to a
nearby hospital. Although the resident had made
several attempts to leave the facility, an elopement
risk assessment was not performed prior to the
incident. Staff determined the resident left the
facility through a rear exit door, which was near her
room. When the door is opened, an alarm is supposed to
signal the front desk. However, there was a problem
with the door and the alarm did not sound when the
resident left.
FINED- September 16, 2004
Warren Barr Pavilion was fined $10,000 for failure to
ensure that residents receive medications as
prescribed, to train temporary nursing staff on the
administration of medications and to address
complaints regarding ongoing medication errors.
As part of an annual inspection and complaint
investigation, Department surveyors learned a resident
was hospitalized after mistakenly given his roommate's
medications.
According to interviews, an agency nurse gave the
resident his medication as well as his roommate's
pills to control blood pressure and heart rate and an
antidepressant.
The resident said the agency nurse also had tried to
administer insulin, but he told her that he did not
take insulin. The resident experienced acute medical
changes and was admitted to the hospital for low blood
pressure and a low heart rate.
Another employee said the agency nurse did not ask
the resident his name or check his identification band
prior to giving the medication. Surveyors found there
was no consistent method used by nursing staff to
check patient identities prior to giving medications
and temporary nurses, who were not familiar with
residents, were often used to distribute medications.
A grievance log listed five complaints in a one-month
period involving medications not given, medications
not given in a timely manner or medication errors.
Although these incidents were investigated by the
facility, there was no evidence a comprehensive plan
was established to prevent medication errors in the
future.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Failure to Perform Heimlich Maneuver at Sheridan Shores Care and Rehab

SHERIDAN SHORES CARE & REHABILITATION CENTER
5838 N. Sheridan Road in Chicago
FINED- April 5, 2002
Sheridan Shores Care & Rehabilitation Center was
fined $10,000 for failure to provide nursing care in
accordance with a resident's needs. Department
investigators learned a resident, who had difficulty
with swallowing, was taken to his room after he began
to choke during lunch. Facility staff laid the
resident down to suction him and, when his condition
deteriorated, began cardiopulmonary resuscitation
(CPR). The resident was transported to the hospital
where he was pronounced dead on arrival, just nine
days after being admitted to the facility.
Per interviews, surveyors determined staff did not
attempt to perform the Heimlich maneuver or to clear
the resident's airway prior to initiating CPR as
required by facility policy.
Three days before, the man had choked while eating
dinner in his room. As a result of this incident, the
resident's physician told facility staff to "monitor
the resident" and a speech therapist recommended
obtaining a physician's order for a swallowing
evaluation. Surveyors found no evidence the resident
was being monitored more closely or had a swallowing
evaluation.
A Department ordered plan of correction required the
facility to ensure its staff is properly trained in
performing CPR and the Heimlich maneuver to assure
residents' personal care and nursing needs are met.

Rainbow Beach Nursing Center Fails to Protect Female Resident

RAINBOW BEACH NURSING CENTER
7325 S. Exchange Ave
FINED- September 29, 2004
Rainbow Beach Nursing Center was fined $10,000 for
failing to adequately supervise a resident found
involved in inappropriate sexual behavior in a female
resident’s room. When the woman awoke, she became
agitated and frightened and had to be given medication
to calm down.
The male resident had a history of wandering in to
female residents’ rooms and two weeks prior to the
incident the female resident had complained about him
coming into her room. Despite the resident’s history,
his care plan did not address the behavior and there
was no documentation the resident was being adequately
supervised.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

St. Paul's House and Health Care Center Fails to Prevent Patient from Wandering

ST. PAUL’S HOUSE & HEALTH CARE CENTER
3800 N. California Ave. in Chicago
FINED- December 13, 2002
St. Paul's House & Health Care Center was fined
$5,000 for failure to prevent a resident from leaving
the facility unsupervised.
Subsequent to an incident report investigation,
Department investigators learned an elderly resident,
who had a history of wandering and wore an electronic
monitor, left the facility unnoticed and was found by
an off-duty employee about six blocks away. The woman
was returned to the center unharmed.
Staff members had taken a group of residents, who
live in a secured unit on the second floor, to the
first floor auditorium to participate in a scheduled
activity. When staff returned the residents to the
second floor 30 minutes later, the woman was no longer
among the group. A search of the facility failed to
locate her.
Facility staff told surveyors they believe the
resident left through the auditorium exit doors, which
were not equipped with an audible alarm. Surveyors
determined that none of the 13 exit doors on the first
floor had an audible alarm and an employee entrance
was the only door equipped with a sensor to detect
electronic monitors.
A Department-ordered plan of correction required the
home to provide residents with adequate and properly
supervised nursing care and to ensure all
resident-accessible exterior doors are equipped with
functional alarms or are monitored by constant visual
supervision.

Presidential Pavilion Fined by IDPH for Unsanitary Conditions

PRESIDENTIAL PAVILION
8001 S. Western Ave.
FINED- August 27, 2003
Presidential Pavilion was fined $5,000 for failing to
prepare, distribute and serve food under sanitary
conditions. The facility failed to follow its policy
of shutting down the entire kitchen area when sewage
water backed up into the kitchen and obtaining food
from an outside source. Instead, staff stood on milk
crates to cook and continued to serve meals prepared
in the kitchen.

Monday, November 17, 2008

New Statute Requires Nursing Homes to Share Consumer Information

The Illinois legislature recently passed Public Act 95-823, which requires Illinois nursing homes to complete annual "Consumer Choice Information Reports." The reports, will give prospective residents and their families information about ownership of the nursing home, medical care, services, staffing, safety, security, meals, rooms, furnishings, special services and amenities. Facilities will be required to make the information available to prospective residents and to post the results on the internet. The Illinois Department of Aging and the Attorney General have the authority to verify the accuracy of the information. Violations of the act constitute a violation of the Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act.

The law goes into effect on January 1, 2009. Although the reports are only one source among many to check before choosing a nursing home, it will still be a helpful resource. If you or a loved one are considering a nursing home placement after January 1, 2009, be sure to ask for a copy of the "Consumer Choice Information Report."

Methodist Home Failed to Perform Heimlich Maneuver

METHODIST HOME
1415 W. Foster Ave. in Chicago.
FINED- 2002
Methodist Home was fined $10,000 for failure to
provide appropriate emergency care to a resident
having respiratory problems.
As part of an annual survey and complaint
investigation, Department surveyors learned staff did
not perform the Heimlich maneuver on a resident who
was coughing and having difficulty breathing following
dinner.
Facility staff began cardiopulmonary resuscitation
(CPR) after the resident stopped breathing and had no
pulse, but they did not first clear the resident's
airway as required by facility policy. Unsuccessful
attempts were made to suction the resident with a bulb
syringe because emergency suction machines did not
work. Paramedics were unable to revive the resident,
who was pronounced dead at the scene.
Department surveyors found that the emergency suction
machine on the resident's floor was not working and a
machine obtained from another floor also was not
operational. The employee charged with maintaining
emergency equipment said he only made sure machines
were on portable carts, but did not check to see if
they were in working order.
The Department-ordered plan of correction required
the facility to train staff on the importance of
following procedures related to medical emergencies
and to make sure emergency equipment is checked prior
to each shift. The facility also was ordered to make
sure it notifies the Department of an incident or
accident that has, or is likely to have, a significant
effect on the health, safety or welfare of a resident.

Lakeview Living Center Fined for Failure to Protect Residents from Sexual Abuse

LAKEVIEW LIVING CENTER
7270 S. Shore Drive in Chicago
FINED- March 10, 2004
Lakeview Living Center $10,000 for failure to protect
its residents from sexual abuse. The 145-bed
intermediate care facility for the developmentally
disabled is located at Responding to a complaint,
Department surveyors learned a resident known for
sexually aggressive behavior had snuck into another
resident's room at night and raped him. The resident
was supposed to be under constant watch because of an
earlier rape allegation.
Upon further investigation, the surveyors also found
the man previously had inappropriate, non-consensual
sexual contact with four other residents that were not
reported to the Department as required by state law.
The Department-ordered plan of correction required
the facility to review its policies related to
neglectful or abusive situations and to train staff on
the reporting process when there is an allegation of
abuse.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Helping Hoarders to Clean Up and Live Better

One of my cousins once joked the we come from a family of “collectors.” My dad and his brothers are never as happy as when they are picking out new treasures at a garage sale. Many of us have friends and relatives like this. “Hoarding”, however, is different from being a run-of-the-mill packrat. Once you have set foot in a hoarder’s house, you know the difference immediately. In order to provide good representation to hoarders, it is important to understand the condition.

The DSM-IV lists hoarding as a symptom of obsessive compulsive disorder. Recent research, however, suggests that it may be distinctly different from OCD in several ways. It is most commonly driven by obsessional fears of losing important items that the person believes they will need later. It can also involve distorted beliefs about the importance of possessions, excessive acquisition and exaggerated emotional attachments to possessions. People who engage in hoarding save items that seem to have no value such as newspapers, mail or trash. In some, it can involve obsessively acquiring animals. Eventually, the mountains of trash get to the point that they can endanger the hoarder or the community.

Hoarders often do not see their condition as a problem and are sometimes loners. As a result, the situation can continue for many years. In some cases, the hoarding does not pose a risk to the individual or the community. In combination with dementia or other problems, however, hoarding can cause legal and safety issues. Some common problems that arise are discussed below.

Ignoring Important Financial Matters

The combination of perfectionism and procrastination can create havoc on the hoarder’s finances. It is not unusual to discover that property taxes have remained unpaid, tax returns have not been filed or that utility bills are far behind. Any one of these problems can cause serious consequences.

Municipal Violations

Eventually, the mess inside the house spills outside. When it does, the neighbors complain and the city comes out. They find a disaster and start writing violation notices. Common complaints against hoarders include overgrown lawns, peeling paint, broken windows, rodent infestation and excessive cats.

In addition to the urge to save, many hoarders also experience indecisiveness, perfectionism, procrastination, difficulty organizing and avoidance. Understanding these traits can be an important to understanding the legal consequences. In the case of municipal violations, for example, it is common for the tickets to remain unpaid and the problems to continue. Only when the city begins to threaten more drastic sanctions does the hoarder seek help.

Illness

As hoarders age, and the house becomes more unmanageable, health problems can follow. If the kitchen becomes unusable, it is less likely that they will eat nutritious meals. If the bathroom is a mess, bathing can become a chore. Because they are often isolated, things like mental illness may go unnoticed for many years. Likewise, curable health conditions may remain untreated.

One of the critical points at which hoarders obtain help is when they become critically ill. Dementia, Alzheimers and stroke are common conditions that can force a hoarder to move into a nursing home. Unfortunately, at that point, it may be impossible to obtain information from the client about their legal affairs.


Getting Help for Hoarder

Understanding issues common to hoarders is perhaps the most important part in helping them. Here are some steps that you can follow to help a hoarder get the help they need:

1. Earn their trust

You cannot do anything to help a hoarder unless you earn their trust. To help them it is going to be necessary for the client to give up control over the “stuff.” This is the task that they have found most difficult over the course of their lives. Their initial reaction to giving things up will be to resist it. Many offer to start sorting through the information themselves. This simply won’t work. If they could do it on their own, they would have already done it. Still, they must be willing to allow you to help them. This requires a relationship and it requires trust.

2. Obtain Help

There are a variety of people who can help a hoarder: a social worker, a neighbor, a lawyer or a care manager are just a few examples. The title is less important than the personality of the person who is going to lead the project. Whoever is going to work with the hoarder to improve things, they will need to assemble a team. Each member of that team must be able to understand and show respect for the client’s wishes. Hiring a lawyer who has experience with hoarders and good social skills can be a big help in this process.


3. Get Control

A power of attorney or a guardianship can be an important next step. If the hoarder will agree to let somebody else work to fix the situation, half of the battle has been won. Many hoarding clients find a sense of relief in knowing that somebody is taking care of their looming problems. Of course, for clients who have decisional capacity, it is important to consult with them about major issues even when they have signed a POA.



4. Act quickly

Because many hoarders do not obtain help until their health is declining, it can be important to act fast. Clients who lack a living will, POA and basic will should have one prepared as quickly as possible. Thereafter, it is important to tackle the bigger issues first. Locating sufficient resources to pay for immediate care is obviously critical. Thereafter, resolving IRS debts is a high priority. As you develop a picture of the client’s financial situation, other priorities will become clear. A 75 year old client who is fully invested in the stock market should probably be talking to a financial planner. If the assets start to add up, the client may need to set up a living trust. Acting quickly can greatly help.



The Good News

By acting to help a hoarder, you can have a dramatic impact on their life. Many hoarders live in fear of losing their home, their assets and their health. More than a few are living in squalor, when they could be living very well. If you can play a part in getting them there, it is a good day at work.

Kenwood Health Center Fails to Perform CPR

KENWOOD HEALTHCARE CENTER
6125 S. Kenwood Ave
FINED- December 20, 2004
Kenwood Healthcare Center was fined $10,000 for
failing to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation and
to call emergency services after a resident was found
unresponsive and bleeding from her nostrils. Staff
said they followed the facility’s Presumed Death
Policy, but none of the required assessments or
documentation was completed. The policy requires two
nurses, one of whom must be a registered nurse, to
assess the resident and make a final decision on the
initiation of resuscitation. There were no registered
nurses on duty at the time of the incident.
FINED- 2006
Kenwood was fined $25,000 for failure to provide a
resident with needed care and sufficient hydration for
several days. The facility also failed to follow
doctor’s orders or notify medical care in a timely
manner. The resident was admitted to a hospital and
later died. The facility has requested a hearing on
the Department’s action. No hearing date has been set.

Jackson Square Nursing & Rehab Cited for Leaving Elevator Shaft Exposed

JACKSON SQUARE NURSING & REHAB CENTER
5130 W. Jackson, Blvd., Chicago
FINED- 2006
Jackson Square Nursing & Rehab Center was fined
$5,000 for failure to ensure the environmental safety
of all residents by leaving a hazardous work area
unsecured. Residents at the facility were at risk of
falling into an elevator shaft, while the elevator was
out of service and a repairman was working on the
elevator. The facility has requested a hearing on the
Department’s action.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Stotis & Baird Website Includes Helpful Information for Seniors

Visit the Stotis & Baird Chartered website for information about Elder Law topics. The firm practices in the areas of Nursing home neglect, Estate planning, Nursing home transitions, Real estate, Wills, Trusts, Living Wills, Powers of attorney and Personal Injury cases. Our web site includes articles on a number of these topics. In paticular, you may want to visit the new "Library" section of the site. The website is located at www.stotis-baird.com.

International Village Fined for Failure to Provide Emergency Treatment

INTERNATIONAL VILLAGE
4815 S. Western Ave
FINED- December 20, 2004
International Village was fined $10,000 for failing
to provide emergency services to an oxygen-dependent
resident with a tracheostomy who was experiencing
acute respiratory distress and long periods of not
breathing. Staff did not place the resident on a
ventilator nor notify the physician of the resident’s
condition until 21 hours after he began experiencing
breathing problems. The resident was transferred to a
hospital for further care after he was found
unresponsive.
In addition, the facility failed to provide the
necessary care and services for six residents,
including not providing proper care for two residents
with a catheter; failing to obtain dialysis treatment;
not ensuring antibiotics were given as ordered; and
failing to monitor for the effectiveness of a change
in medication.

Imperial Grove Pavilion Fails to Assess Risk Patient Would Leave Nursing Home

IMPERIAL GROVE PAVILION
1366 W. Fullerton Ave. in Chicago
FINED- 2002
The Imperial Grove Pavilion was fined $10,000 for
failure to properly assess a resident for risk of
leaving the facility.
Responding to complaints, Department surveyors
learned a wheelchair-bound resident sustained numerous
injuries, including head trauma, several fractures and
cuts, when she fell down a flight of stairs while
attempting to leave the facility. The resident was
taken to a local hospital for treatment after a nurse
found her lying in a stairwell.
About a week prior to the incident, the resident had
become agitated and, on several occasions, was
observed trying to leave the floor via the elevator
and the stairs. The resident's physician told
surveyors that, five days prior to the incident, staff
told him of the resident's attempts to leave the
floor.
Despite this change in behavior, the facility did not
reassess the resident's care plan or implement steps
to more closely supervise the resident to prevent her
from leaving the facility.
The Department-ordered plan of correction required
the facility to provide adequate supervision of
residents, to document changes in residents'
conditions and to ensure staff are aware of the level
of care required by each resident.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Hammond House fined for Failing to Report Resident on Resident Abuse

HAMMOND HOUSE
6701 S. Morgan
FINED- August 27, 2003
Hammond House was fined $5,000 for failing to
properly report an incident of abuse. An employee
witnessed another employee hitting a resident, but did
not try to intervene nor did she report the incident
to a supervisor or police. Once the incident was
brought to the attention of the administration,
another eight passed days before it was reported to
IDPH as required.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Medicare Website Includes Good Information for Choosing Nursing Homes

One of the many resources available to compare nursing homes is the medicare sponsored "Nursing Home Compare" website. The site allows users to view nursing homes by location or name and to obtain statistics about the care provided at these facilities. For people searching for a nursing home, the site can be quite helpful.

It is worthwhile to know, however, that the statistics may not paint a complete picture of the quality of care. For example, the site includes information about the percentage of patients requiring wound care. On the one hand, a high percentage might indicate that the nursing home has many patients with bedsores. This could be a sign of neglect. On the other hand, some nursing homes specialize in the treatment of patients with serious wounds. As a result, hospitals may send more of such patients to that facility. In that case, a higher percentage may simply reflect that the facility specializes in that type of treatment.

In addition, much of the information contained in the nursing home compare site is self reported by the nursing homes. As a result, some of the data may be inaccurate or overly optimistic.

The website is a valuable source of information. It is best viewed, however, as one way to evaluate a nursing home, rather than the only way. Upon considering a facility, you want to might look it up before visiting. At the site visit, you can ask the staff about any apparent negatives shown in their reported statistics.

The nursing home compare web site is located at: www.medicare.gov/NHCompare.

For other information about choosing a good nursing home, visit the Stotis & Baird web site at www.stotisandbaird.com

Monday, November 3, 2008

Clark Manor Convalescent Center Filed for Poor Supervision of Resident

CLARK MANOR CONVALESCENT CENTER
7433 N. Clark St., Chicago
FINED- 2006
Clark Manor Convalescent Center was fined $5,000 for
failure to provide adequate supervision to a resident.
The resident was able to leave a locked unit and walk
out of the facility.

Violation Issued Against Chevy Chase Nursing and Rehab

CHEVY CHASE NURSING and REHAB CENTER
3400 S. Indiana, Chicago
FINED- July 22, 2003
Chevy Chase Nursing and Rehab Center was fined $5,000
for not properly supervising a resident who left the
facility and walked to his home, which is more than
seven miles away, in temperatures that were below 30
degrees F. The facility was not aware the resident had
left until his wife called to notify staff of his
whereabouts. During their complaint investigation,
Department surveyors learned the resident, who had a
history of cutting off his electronic monitoring
device and of attempting to leave the facility, was
able to leave through the front entrance, which was
not alarmed or monitored between 8 p.m. and 10 p.m.
Six days after returning to the facility, the resident
managed to elope again.