Illinois- Illinois nursing homes are did not get very good grades when they were recently evaluated by a non-profit agency which advocates for residents of long –term care facilities. Out of the fifty states, facilities in Illinois ranked 42nd, which does not bode well for the residents.
The survey, conducted by Families for Better Care, found that 96.38 percent of facilities had been cited for a deficiency. Another 26.74 percent of facilities were cited for severe deficiencies, which are defined as events that cause immediate jeopardy or actual harm and resulted in resident injury, abuse, neglect, or death.
Staffing is a common issue on long-term care facilities and having enough staff is essential. It could mean the difference between injury and death to a senior or disabled person who relies on others for their fundamental needs. While some states have an excellent patient-to-caregiver ratios, Illinois did not rank well in this area.
Families for Better Care gave facilities in the state an “F” reporting that residents in received less than two hours a day of one-on-one care. That is above the national average of one hour of daily care for each patient, but far less than is necessary to prevent abuse or neglect.
Illinois received a mediocre ranking when it came to registered nurse staffing; nursing homes in the state provided each patient with only .81 registered nursing hours per day.
Abuse in nursing homes is problem, but neglect is an even worse issue and is often exacerbated by lack of staff. It stands to reason that if an employee of a facility is overworked, they cannot give each patient the care they need and deserve. A national survey from the National Center on Elder abuse found that at least 50 percent of nursing home staff admitted that they neglected a patient at least once in the past year.
These staff members don’t intend to neglect patients, but when they are overworked they are prone to cut corners or make mistakes.
Neglect can take many forms and can have adverse effects on a patient’s physical and mental well-being. Typical neglect includes: failing to provide proper nutrition, inadequate hygiene such a neglecting to bathe or properly clean a patient, not moving a bed-ridden patient often enough to avoid bedsores and failing to change soiled or dirty bed linens.
These simple negligent practices can create very unhealthy living conditions for the elderly and can cause them to develop a host of health problems ranging from bedsores, respiratory problems to bedsores. Left unchecked, health conditions can cause the untimely death of a patient.
Inadequate staffing also makes elderly patients in these long term care facilities more vulnerable to abuse. With too few eyes monitoring the activities of staff, potential abusers have more opportunity to take advantage of those who are helpless.