The Chicago Tribune had a well written and tragic story on the living conditions in a one star nursing home. The articles discusses numerous and disgusting incidents of neglect that injured residents both physically and psychologically.
Dozens of health violations were documented last year on a single inspection of the Berwyn Rehabilitation Center, contributing to its dubious distinction as one of the area’s worst nursing homes in the area. The federal government is now rating nursing facilities on a 1 to 5 star system. Although conditions at one-star homes are startling, what is perhaps more alarming is their prevalence: About a quarter of U.S. nursing homes, including 81 in the six-county Chicago area, received one star.
The Tribune obtained the most recent inspection reports for the area’s lowest-rated homes through a Freedom of Information Act request. The conditions described are grim and, at times, deadly—as the Berwyn facility demonstrates.
Inspectors found workers were improperly using side railings on beds. Four months later, records show, a 53-year-old obese resident suffocated when he got stuck between the mattress and side rails. Illinois fined the facility only $50,000 for the death, one of the largest nursing home penalties in the state last year.
According to records, all major violations found during the annual inspection last March had been corrected as of June. But the man who suffocated did so in July—weeks after new management took over.
One-star nursing homes meet minimum standards but are considered "much below average," according to the federal rating system. Inspection reports of those facilities show the daily despair many residents face.
Residents in most nursing homes complain of cold or tasteless food, staff not answering calls for help, loud employees keeping them up at night, and workers not relaying phone messages from family members.
Residents say that when they voice concerns, staff respond at times by pointing to the cemetery across the street. State investigators cited the nursing home, concluding that residents could not speak up without fear of reprisal. Almost all the patients lay in their beds, sleeping or watching TV. The vast majority of the residents can’t walk and are incontinent.
This is a great article for anyone who wants to know about the care provided in many nursing homes throughout this country using our tax money.