Associated Press reported that a nursing home was fined $360,000 related to the suspicious deaths of 6 patients at a northern Illinois nursing home. Investigators have evidence that leads them to believe that the nurses employed by the nursing home was giving unnecessary drugs to the residents so they would not have to care for them. This kind of behavior is considered a chemical restraint. Because of patient load and lack of adequate staffing, the nurses give sedatives and other medications to quiet the residents so less care is required. If the residents are asleep, the staff doesn’t have to respond to call bells, change briefs, or feed the residents.
Penny Whitlock was indicted last spring on criminal charges including neglect and obstruction of justice. Authorities began investigating the facility in Woodstock after six patients suspiciously died in 2006. Another employee, nurse Marty Himebaugh, also has been charged in the case.