After Lee Friedman, who is an associate professor of epidemiology and biostatistics at University of Illinois School of Public Health, collected and analyzed data, it appears there may some correlation between nursing home residents living in for-profit nursing homes and neglect.
Many elderly individuals reach a certain point in their life where they either don’t want to live alone, are at risk of engaging in an accident if they do, or simply can no longer care for themselves which often results in them going to live in some type of assisted living facility. Nursing homes are a common facility many often turn to as they are more affordable than living in a private facility and certain insurance policies will cover their stay. Unfortunately, after Friedman conducted his study, he has found that “residents receiving care in for-profit nursing homes are almost twice as likely to experience health issues caused by substandard care compared to clients living in not-for-profit facilities or in homes in the community.”
When Friedman refers to for-profit nursing homes, he is focusing on those that are owned by investors and/or operate as a chain of facilities. Sometimes, for-profit nursing homes are linked to low staffing levels and substandard care as mentioned by Friedman which means the care being provided wasn’t up to par with federal regulations. Substandard care “means that one or more requirements under the federal regulations were not met, to a degree constituting immediate jeopardy to resident health or safety, and a scope of pattern or widespread actual harm, or a widespread potential for more than minimal harm” [Source: State of Indiana].
What evidence did Friedman use to determine residents living in for-profit nursing homes are more likely to receive substandard care?
Friedman and those working alongside him reviewed medical records for 1,149 patients aged 60 and older from five greater Chicago metropolitan area hospitals that serve about 10% of all patients in Illinois [Source: UIC Today]. The patients that were used in the study had been treated in hospitals in these areas between 2007 and 2011 for issues that ranged from “mild to poor quality care.” Friedman and his colleagues began to assess the records and make comparisons between those that exhibited signs of neglect to the type of the facility they lived in which included for-profit, not-for-profit, and community-dwelling. UIC Today highlighted that community-dwelling residents are those that “live in private homes, often with family members or friends.”
What Friedman found was that there was “more diagnoses among residents of for-profit facilities that were consistent with severe clinical signs of neglect, including severe dehydration in clients with feeding tubes which should have been managed, clients with stage three and four bed sores, broken catheters and feeding tubes, and clients whose medication for chronic conditions was not being managed properly.”
Friedman went on to explain that “substandard care is a form of neglect and falls within the definition of elder abuse.” He stated that there are “a growing number of people who need services provided by nursing facilities, but the reality is that a third of nursing homes in Illinois receive below-average ratings by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.”
Should I be concerned if a relative of mine lives in a for-profit nursing home in Chicago, IL?
Although there are some for-profit nursing homes in the state of Illinois that provide the standard level of care and treat their residents with the respect they deserve, the likelihood of finding one of those facilities is rare. With that in mind, it is important that if you have a loved one living in any type nursing home in Chicago that you visit them regularly and check for any signs or symptoms that might indicate they aren’t being treated properly. If you find something doesn’t seem right or they are showing signs of neglect, we encourage you to contact our office to speak with an experienced Chicago, IL nursing home abuse lawyer.
The fact is, there are several ways to handle a case of abuse and/or neglect and it is important that you become informed on what these are. The IL elder abuse lawyers at Dinizulu Law Group, Ltd. can provide you with all the information you will need and even help you to take the first step of seeking justice if you have proof that your loved one has been mistreated.
Contact our office today to get a consultation scheduled so that we can work with you to address this pressing matter.
You can reach Dinizulu Law Group, Ltd. at:
221 North La Salle Drive, Suite 1100
Chicago, IL 60601