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Chicago Nursing Home Under Investigation for Unclean, Unsafe Conditions

Nursing home residents have the right to clean and safe conditions and responsible care. Our Chicago nursing home lawyers at Pintas & Mullins are deeply concerned about the unsafe and unhygienic conditions reported at a local nursing home that is mainly populated with Hispanic residents.

Reports say that at least two government agencies carried out an investigation of the Humboldt Park nursing home due to complaints of shortage of critical supplies and low staffing levels.

Center Home for Hispanic Elderly employees complained about the shortage of gloves, adult diapers and other essential supplies, as well as a lack of staff, for months. The families of some of the nursing home residents and certain workers also revealed that incontinent residents were frequently not provided with diapers, particularly at night.

The home has a one star rating out of five from Medicare’s Nursing Home Compare. This is the lowest possible rating. Nursing homes with a one star rating are of a quality far below the average of other nursing home facilities.

There are few Illinois nursing facilities geared towards Hispanic residents. Center Home is one of only three nursing homes in the state that is mainly populated by Latinos. In fact, about 98 percent of its residents belong to this ethnic group.

The ongoing problems at this facility are extremely unfortunate. The daughter of one elderly resident at the home recounts how she had to buy soap, adult diapers and other supplies for her mother because the nursing home was constantly short of these supplies. In just four months into her stay at the home, the resident’s daughter found her mother covered with feces at least six times. She also she found her mother in bed without sheets once, and her personal-care supplies and belongings frequently disappeared.

The problems worsened on one visit, when the resident’s daughter found her 85-year-old mother slumped over in a wheelchair, confused and with a swollen right knee. Her mother never required a wheelchair prior to this date.

Apparently the elderly woman was in a bad condition for two days, and her daughter was not informed of the matter. When she finally discovered her mother’s poor condition, she demanded that she be taken to the hospital. There, the elderly woman was diagnosed with a severe urinary tract infection, along with other issues. Unfortunately the infection spread to the victim’s bloodstream and she passed away a week later from pulmonary embolism.

Public records show that the time devoted to nursing care at the nursing home was steadily declining. While a resident at the home got a total of 2.71 hours of care per day in July last year, the total amount of care for a resident as of February 2012 was just 2.19 hours. This figure put the nursing home with the lowest 10 percent nationally.

The inadequate and unacceptable conditions at the Illinois nursing home reflect how difficult it is for Latinos to find nursing homes that suit their cultural and social requirements, have superior standards and are safe.

When nursing homes fail to meet legally mandated standards, they lose certification.
One nursing and rehabilitation center in Illinois was expected to shut its doors after federal officials de-certified the home for quality-of-care breaches and other deficiencies. The de-certification cuts off Medicaid and Medicare support for services provided to patients.

The nursing home has been on the CMS watch list since October 2010. On one of many visits that state officials made to the home over the years, they found multiple violations, including accidents, deficiencies in the quality of care, and abuse.

Additionally, other nursing homes in Illinois, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Indiana, Ohio and Michigan have been terminated from CMS. These facilities can seek to re-apply for federal funds once they demonstrate compliance.

A nursing home lawyer can help to ensure that your loved ones receive quality care and compensation for any injuries that they are forced to suffer. We understand that placing a loved one in the care of another is a difficult decision, and you should be able to trust that your loved one is receiving the care and attention that he or she deserves,