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The VA Illiana Health Care System in Danville is part of the Veterans Integrated Service Network 12. The VISN service area includes Northern Illinois, the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, and large portions of Wisconsin. In late October of 2020, the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) of the Department of Health and Human Services received two separate complaints about facilities operated by the system in Danville that failed to adequately address the COVID-19 pandemic.
How did COVID-19 impact the Danville VA facility?
The reports to the OIG concerned two Community Living Centers operated by Illiana, known as Unity and Victory.
Continue Reading COVID-19 Outbreak at Danville VA Facility

Ask These Questions Before Choosing a Nursing Home for a Loved One
2020 did its best to reveal the most alarming care deficiencies throughout the country’s nursing homes and skilled nursing facilities. Unfortunately, the pandemic, in some cases, was allowed to target the elderly and nursing home population brutally. While nursing homes and assisted living centers should offer a safe place for your loved one, whether they are your parent, a family member, or a friend who needs guided rehabilitation, you must do the work in choosing the best place on behalf of them. You have the right to ask
Continue Reading How Do I Choose The Best Nursing Home For My Mom or Dad?

Regional Ombudsmen Serve as Lifeline for Nursing Home Residents – And So Much More
Under the federal Older Americans Act (OAA), every state must have an Ombudsman Program that addresses complaints and advocates for improvements in the long-term care system. Each state has an Office of the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman (Office), headed by a full-time State Long-Term Care Ombudsman (Ombudsman) who directs the program statewide. Across the Nation, staff and thousands of volunteers are designated by State Ombudsmen as representatives to serve residents directly.
According to the Administration on Aging (AoA)/Administration for Community Living (ACL):
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Continue Reading What Is The Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program?

New Alzheimer’s Drug Could Receive National Coverage Policy, Now Under Medicare Review
On July 12, 2021, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced the opening of a National Coverage Determination (NCD) analysis. The government agency says the process will allow an advanced and careful review to determine whether Medicare will establish a national coverage policy for monoclonal antibodies targeting Alzheimer’s disease. Monoclonal antibodies may prevent beta-amyloid from clumping into plaques or remove beta-amyloid plaques that have formed and help the body clear the beta-amyloid from the brain, found in patients diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.

  • When someone is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s (or dementia),


Continue Reading Who Is Looking Out For Alzheimer’s Patients & Dementia Residents?

Harmful Medication Overuse Often First Line of Defense for Managing Behaviorally Challenged Nursing Home Residents
There is excessive and unnecessary use of antipsychotics and psychoactive medications in U.S. nursing homes. These powerful drugs are sometimes given to patients living in long-term care facilities to calm behaviors associated with behavior disruptions and mental health illnesses. Antipsychotics can be so powerful that they sedate residents to the point where they become listless and unresponsive. Residents may be slumped in chairs or unable to get up from bed; they may no longer participate in activities like feeding themselves or engaging in routines they
Continue Reading Should Nursing Homes Come With An Antipsychotic Drug Warning?

Identifying Heat-Related Stress and Dehydration Injuries in Nursing Home Populations During the Summer Months
When you help your loved one find a nursing home, you should feel it is a safe place no matter their risk factors for injury and illness. The facility staff members should be trusted to care for your relatives and friends and protect them from harm. However, extreme weather events, including high temperatures, can be particularly tough on a neglected senior population. And unfortunately, it is not uncommon to hear stories of elderly individuals in dire situations who face severe injury or even die due to
Continue Reading Care Missteps Lead to Heat-Related Injuries Among Nursing Home Residents During Summer Months

Candida Auris Is an Invasive Fungi That is Spreading in Health Care Settings and Proving to Be Drug-Resistant
On Thursday, July 22, 2021, U.S. health officials presented evidence that an untreatable fungus is now spreading in two Dallas-area hospitals and inside a nursing home located in Washington, D.C. Candida auris is a super bacterium the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) deems an urgent threat. The fungus is extremely difficult to eradicate even with hospital-grade disinfectants and response plans, reminding health care leaders yet again why infection control is so critical in maintaining healthy human populations
Just
Continue Reading Drug-Resistant Fungus Spreads Inside Nursing Home Amid COVID Battle

Virginia Nursing Home Operator Found Guilty of Health Care Fraud
In Norfolk, Virginia, the operator of Turning Points Residential Care has been sentenced to two years in prison for defrauding Medicaid. According to July 2, 2021 court documents, 47-year-old Lopez Scott submitted more than $188,000 in false claims for a residential nursing facility his business was authorized to use to provide residential support services and skilled nursing services to recipients of Medicaid.
“For three years, the defendant used his position as a nursing home operator to obtain over $188,000 from the Virginia Medicaid program fraudulently,” said Raj Parekh, Acting
Continue Reading Another Nursing Home Operator Headed To Prison For Fraud

Chicago North Side Nursing Home Facing Heavy Accusations of Neglect and Abuse
News reports and interviews with a former Foster Health and Rehabilitation employee reveal just how terrible conditions and resident treatment are at the North Side nursing home. Just days before, reports and a shocking video of abuse shook residents and family members after a 69-year-old man was found neglected and injured at the nursing home, located at 840 W. Foster Avenue in Chicago.
The former employee, Annette Zegarra, recently worked as an office manager for Foster Health and Rehabilitation Center. Zegarra told WGN9 news she knows the abused
Continue Reading Ex-Nursing Home Worker Speaks Up Amid Foster Health Abuse And Neglect News

What You Don’t Know About Bedsores Could Be Hurting Your Loved One
Sadly, painful bedsores are one of the most common and preventable injuries in nursing homes and can serve as a severe warning sign of underlying nursing home neglect. A pressure ulcer, also sometimes called a bedsore, a pressure sore, or even decubitus ulcer, may not appear serious at first in some nursing home residents. The open wound often begins with minor red marks on areas of the skin that are in continuous contact with surfaces such as bed linens. The sore will almost always make itself known thought,
Continue Reading Bedsore Warning Signs Reveal Deeper Nursing Home Issues

How Families Can Help Identify the Early Signs of Memory Loss and Dementia in Loved Ones
Unfortunately, many nursing home workers are not trained to identify the warning signs of declining cognitive abilities. And worrisome activities of a resident with dementia, a form of Alzheimer’s Disease, are too easily missed by overworked and poorly resourced care teams. This leaves many residents struggling due to the extra supervision and management of their daily activities, health and mental wellness, medications, and financial needs. Family members and friends are typically the first to request help after noticing a loved one’s behavioral changes
Continue Reading Understaffed Nursing Homes Often Miss Early Signs Of Memory Loss In Residents

120 Cook County Nursing Homes Still Reporting Open COVID-19 Outbreaks in June 2021
Despite the distribution and availability of vaccines, the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) is still reporting over 100 current coronavirus outbreaks involving one or more cases in the past 28 days in Cook County long-term care facilities. The COVID-19 outbreaks include both residents and staff.
This IDPH data is current as of June 18, 2021. All Illinois long-term care facilities are to report confirmed COVID-19 cases to local health departments and provide the most up-to-date data; however, many facilities are known not to report cases promptly and
Continue Reading More Than 100 Chicago-Area Nursing Homes Still Have Open COVID Outbreaks

Freeport Nursing Home Man’s Death Certificate Now Reads ‘Gross Negligence’
A nursing home in Freeport, Illinois, Pearl Pavilion, is facing a lawsuit after the family of one deceased resident says the facility is responsible for the 56-year-old man’s untimely death. The family of Keith Printz, who was being provided care at the home located at 900 Kiwanis Drive, says staff failed to provide him life-saving medication.
According to a lawsuit filed by Levin & Perconti on behalf of Printz’s family:
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Continue Reading Freeport Nursing Home Sued For Gross Negligence That Caused Man’s Death

June is Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month, Join Levin & Perconti by Going Purple
Today, more than 6 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s and other dementias. In Illinois, more than 230,000 are battling the disease. When someone is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease, they will require more care, patience, and support as they grow older. The emotional burden and financial costs are overwhelming on those diagnosed, their caregivers, long-term care workers, and even the nation’s health care system. The Alzheimer’s Association reports that in 2021, Alzheimer’s and other dementias will cost the nation $355 billion. And by 2050, costs could rise
Continue Reading Chicago Law Firm Supports Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month

Nursing Home Residents Require Additional Rehabilitative Care After Suffering from a Stroke
If someone living in a nursing home has a stroke, they should be treated in an inpatient rehabilitation facility rather than remain in the nursing home. The resident may need intensive, multidisciplinary treatment, and initial rehabilitation should take place in a facility equipped with the appropriate care staff. Advanced specialty care is especially needed if negligent nursing home workers missed the early signs of stroke in a resident, causing a delay in treatment. The National Institute of Neurological Disorders explains the types of strokes most common to nursing home
Continue Reading After Stroke, Nursing Home Residents Need Extra Support

After A Disastrous 2020, Please Make Time to Recognize Older Adult Communities
People age 65 and older represent around 16% of the population but are expected to grow to be 21.6% of the population by 2040. And in each community, these older adults will remain a key source of importance – even when they become vulnerable and rely on others for their daily activities and care. In the past year, we’ve seen this time and again in aging communities across Chicago and throughout Illinois as friends, neighbors, and families have found new ways to support each other. Through these experiences,
Continue Reading Advocating For Older Americans and Supporting Post-Pandemic Relief