Briar Place Nursing Home
Nursing home abuse leaves many victims suffering from physical injuries, emotional distress, financial losses, and other damages. Unfortunately, many residents affected by abuse and neglect in nursing facilities cannot speak up for themselves, leaving many cases unaddressed.
Any kind of mistreatment of a nursing home resident is punishable by law. Regardless of who the abuser is, victims of abuse or neglect have the right to seek justice for their suffering.
Were you a victim of nursing home abuse while residing at the nursing home? The personal injury attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC are legal advocates for nursing home residents victimized by caregivers, visitors, and other patients.
Contact our Chicago, Illinois, nursing home abuse attorneys at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) or use the contact form to schedule a free consultation. All confidential or sensitive information you share with our legal team remains private through an attorney-client relationship.
Briar Place Nursing Facility
This 232-certified bed Medicare and Medicaid-approved for-profit nursing home (not a continuing care retirement community) provides care and services to Cook County residents. The nursing home is located at:
6800 Joliet Rd
Indian Head Park, IL 60525
This Indian Head Park, Illinois nursing home provides care, services, and amenities, including:
- Cardiac Care
- COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease)
- Homelike environment
- Isolation Needs (infection care)
- IV / Infusion Therapy
- Occupational Therapy
- Ostomy Care
- Physical Therapy
- Post-Stroke Care
- Pulse Lavage
- Rehabilitation Therapy
- Respiratory Therapy
- Secured Unit
- Short-Term Rehab
- Speech Therapy
- Tracheostomy Care
- Ultrasound (pain management)
- Urinary Incontinence Programs
- Wound Care
- Behavioral Health
- Medication Management
- Anger Management
- Assistance with Activities of Daily Living
- Life skills
Briar Place Nursing Facility Resident Safety Concerns
Through the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the federal government maintains updated records on all nursing facilities' health inspections nationwide. The Medicare overall rating database documents all violations, health inspections, formal complaints, and health concerns.
The nursing home currently maintains a one out of five stars overall rating. The ratings at this facility based on all other nursing homes include:
- One out of five stars for health inspections
- One out of five stars for staffing issues
- Two out of five stars for quality measures
The Cook County personal injury attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC have reviewed dozens of health inspection documents, surveys, and investigations concerning this Indian Head Park nursing home and found serious concerns, including:
Failure to Protect Each Resident From all Types of Abuse Such as Physical, Mental, Sexual Abuse, Physical Punishment, and Neglect by Anybody – Deficiency
In a summary statement of deficiencies dated August 5, 2021, the state inspectors determined that the nursing home failed to “keep residents free from abuse as a result of a physical altercation between two residents who were unsupervised while doing laundry.”
The two residents affected by the lack of supervision had a brief altercation when one patient was upset with the other, striking his closed hand on the resident’s face.
The assaulted nursing home resident had “a raised area small hematoma and laceration to the right orbit.”
Failure to Provide Appropriate Pressure Ulcer Care and Prevent new Ulcers From Developing – Deficiency
In a summary statement of deficiencies dated August 5, 2021, the state inspectors determined that the Indian Head Park nursing home failed to “follow preventative measures and physician recommendation for wound treatment and the prevention of skin breakdown.” The residents affected had developed pressure ulcers.
The state investigators reviewed one resident's Doctor Wound Evaluation Management Summary who had a post-surgical wound on her back lasting more than 398 days after seeing the patient seated on the resident’s bed with no air loss mattress as ordered.
The investigators noted that the nursing home resident has the “potential and national impairment to skin integrity. The resident needs a pressure relieving mattress to protect the skin while in bed.
Failure to Ensure the Nursing Home Areas Free From Accident Hazards and Provides Adequate Supervision to Prevent Accidents – Deficiency
In a summary statement of deficiencies dated August 5, 2021, the state inspectors determined that the nursing home failed to “direct independent smokers to smoke in a designated smoking area and failed to provide supervision for a resident who was identified as not being capable of handling/carrying anti-smoking materials and requires supervision.”
Investigators noted that the nursing home failed to “provide direct supervision, which resulted in a resident sustaining a bruise and a skin tear above the right eye.” The four residents affected by the nursing staff’s deficiencies had been exposed to potential severe harm.
Failure to Provide and Implement an Infection Prevention and Control Program – Deficiency #F0880
In a summary statement of deficiencies dated August 5, 2021, the state inspectors determined that the nursing home failed to “sanitize medical equipment between patients for one resident.”
The nursing home staff also “failed to follow their infection control policy with regards to proper use of Personal Detective Equipment (PPE) when entering a contact or droplet isolation room” and “failed to follow their Covid-19 policy [concerning] checking vital signs for a Person Under Investigation.”
Failure to Timely Report Suspected Abuse, Neglect, or Theft and Report the Results of the Investigation to Proper Authorities – Deficiency
In a summary statement of deficiencies dated June 9, 2022, the state inspectors determined that the nursing home failed to “follow their policy and procedures for reporting serious incidents to the local department of health by not reporting a fall that resulted in a fracture.”
One nursing home staff resident was sitting on the floor while being helped to the washroom by an aide. The resident later stated that “she broke her right foot.”
Short-stay residents assessed as “high risk for falls” are to be placed in a secure area with other residents who need similar care. Long-stay residents evaluated as “high risk for falls” must have a developed Care Plan that includes nursing assessments, interventions, and monitoring” as well as “behavioral approaches to reduce fall risks.”
Proper Nursing Home Care Can Help Prevent Pressure Ulcers
Excess pressure on the skin can cut off blood flow, starving the affected skin of oxygen and other essential nutrients. As a result, the skin dies and forms pressure ulcers, also known as bedsores. These painful skin injuries can become sites of infection when left untreated.
Bedsores can develop in just two to three hours after circulation is cut off from the skin. The injury can be categorized into any of the following stages:
- Stage I: The skin appears red and feels warm to the touch. The patient may complain of pain, itching, or burning.
- Stage II:The skin looks more damaged and may have partial skin or tissue loss. The patient will complain of significant pain in the affected area.
- Stage III: The wound has a crater-like appearance due to the damage underneath the skin’s surface. There is full skin or tissue loss. Subcutaneous fat may be visible.\
- Stage IV: The area is severely damaged and has an open wound. The damage may affect muscles, bones, and tendons. There is a significant risk of infection as the wound is exposed to outside elements.
Pressure ulcers most frequently develop on the skin covering bony areas of the body, such as the hips, ankles, heels, and tailbone.
Common Causes of Bedsores in Nursing Homes
Long-stay residents with limited movement require frequent repositioning in bed to relieve pressure from their bodies. If they are left in the same position for more than a few hours, the blood flow is cut off from some parts of their body, leading to the formation of pressure ulcers.
Sometimes, nursing staff fails to accommodate the need for repositioning due to:
- Neglect: Residents affected by bedsores are usually neglected by their caregivers. Neglect can be intentional (e.g., when a caregiver chooses to ignore a patient’s needs) or unintentional (e.g., when a staff member forgets to move a patient on time because they are overburdened with work) but may be considered abuse either way.
- Understaffing: Nursing facilities that don’t have enough staff members to care for long-stay residents are prone to delivering subpar service. Chronic short-staffing is one of the leading causes of bedsores as there are simply not enough people to meet the needs of each patient.
- Poor Education and Training:Nursing staff must have adequate education and training on preventing bedsores. Otherwise, they may not know the proper techniques to avoid these injuries, spot the signs, and when to alert the doctor of skin changes.
Why Nursing Staff Must Prevent Bedsores
Pressure sores can be excruciating, especially for frail older adults. More than that, untreated bedsores can cause severe complications, such as:
- Cellulitis (skin infection)
- Joint infections (septic arthritis)
- Bone infections (osteomyelitis)
- Sepsis (a potentially life-threatening response to infection)
Once a pressure ulcer develops, it can take weeks, months, or even years to heal completely. If one leads to infection, it can cause additional symptoms, such as fever, weakness, and mental confusion.
Every Nursing Home Must Have Procedures to Prevent Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)
A UTI occurs when bacteria enter the urethra and infect the urinary tract. Infection-causing bacteria usually come from the skin or the anus but can also come from objects like a urinary catheter.
Women are more prone to UTIs because the female urethra is closer to the anus, making it easier for bacteria to travel to the urinary tract.
Older adults also have a higher risk of UTIs due to urine retention caused by weaker bladders and pelvic floors. When urine stays in the urinary tract, there is a risk of bacteria multiplying.
Potential Causes of UTIs in Nursing Homes
Residents affected by UTIs usually contract the infection due to:
- Poor Toileting Assistance:Some residents cannot go to the toilet themselves, requiring assistance from caregivers to clean after urinating or defecating. When a staff member fails to wipe them down properly (e.g., wiping from back to front or leaving fecal matter on the anus), bacteria can enter the resident’s urethra and cause an infection.
- Lack of Incontinence Support:Residents with continence issues may feel embarrassed to go to the toilet with assistance, leading them to hold their urine in for long periods. When this happens, bacteria in the urine can multiply as it stays longer in the urinary tract, increasing the risk of infection.
- Improper Diapering Practices:Long-stay residents affected by incontinence or immobility often wear diapers, and it’s up to staff members to clean and change their diapers to maintain proper hygiene. Poor diapering practices, however, can lead to a buildup of bacteria.
- Incorrect Catheter Management: UTIs can result from poor catheter handling, such as when a staff member does not use gloves or change the catheter on time.
Why Proper UTI Prevention is Crucial
A UTI can lead to a bladder infection, which can cause the following symptoms:
- Painful urination
- Frequent urination
- Bloody or cloudy urine
- Cramping in the groin or lower abdomen
If the UTI spreads to the kidneys, it can cause:
- Lower back or side pain
- Nausea or vomiting
Receiving treatment for a UTI as soon as possible is crucial, especially for older adults and children. Untreated UTIs can cause severe complications, such as bacteremia (bacteria in the blood), sepsis, multiple organ system dysfunctions, and acute renal failure.
The Importance of Controlling Anti-Anxiety and Antipsychotic Medication Among Nursing Home Residents
Antianxiety or hypnotic medication is used to reduce the symptoms of anxiety and insomnia, respectively. Antipsychotic medications treat mental health issues involving psychotic experiences, including schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder. Antipsychotic medication also falls under the hypnotic drugs category.
These drugs can help improve daily living for long-stay residents affected by mental health problems. However, they can also cause a myriad of adverse symptoms, such as:
- Daytime drowsiness
- Memory problems
- Lack of concentration and coordination
- Rapid heart rate
Why Side Effects Can Be Dangerous For Older Adults
Anti-anxiety and sedative-hypnotic drugs can increase seniors’ risk of falling and injuring themselves. Because most of these drugs cause drowsiness and fatigue, a medicated older adult can easily trip, slip, or fall and suffer a major injury.
Causes of Medication-Related Falls in Senior Care Facilities
Sometimes, long-stay residents affected by the symptoms of anti-anxiety and hypnotic drugs are at risk of harm. But most often, medication-related falls are caused by the failure to prevent accidents, resulting from:
- Accident Hazards:A nursing home must address accident hazards, such as loose carpeting, uneven floors, and faulty staircase steps, to reduce the risk of slip and fall accidents. Older adults are less able to avoid potential hazards, and medicated ones are even more at risk.
- Inadequate Supervision:Long-stay residents on medications that cause fatigue and drowsiness require adequate supervision to avoid hurting themselves. If left to their own devices, they may risk falling and sustaining a major injury.
- Improper Medication Monitoring:Residents affected by mental health issues don’t always need to stay on medication for long periods. For instance, patients cannot be given psychotropics (antipsychotics) for longer than 14 days without a doctor evaluating their need for an extension.
Poor medication monitoring can lead to residents taking more medication than necessary or drugs they no longer need. This deviation from professional standards may be considered medical malpractice.
Nursing Homes Must Offer The Pneumococcal and Seasonal Influenza Vaccine to Long Stay Residents
The immune response slows down as the body ages, making older adults more vulnerable to disease. Seniors in nursing facilities are especially at risk because they interact with other people daily.
The law requires nursing homes to have an Infection Prevention and Control Program (IPCP), which should include offering vaccinations to elders. Some of the most critical vaccines include:
- Seasonal Influenza Vaccine: Also known as the “flu shot,” this vaccine helps protect seniors from different types of influenza. Residents can receive multiple flu vaccines depending on their doctors’ recommendations.
- Pneumococcal Vaccine:This vaccine can protect older adults from pneumonia, a disease that severely affects seniors in particular. Residents can receive a one-time pneumococcal vaccine and another if five years have passed since the first shot and they were younger than 65 when they received it.
- Zoster Vaccine:Residents can receive this vaccine to reduce their risk of developing shingles, a contagious and painful blistering rash.
- Tetanus-Diphtheria-Pertussis (Tdap):People over 65 should get the Tdap vaccine if they did not receive it as adolescents. This vaccine can help prevent pertussis (whooping cough), tetanus (a bacteria infection from Clostridium tetani), and diphtheria (a severe bacterial infection caused by Corynebacterium diphtheriae).
Residents affected by certain medical conditions may have reactions to specific vaccines. Doctors must evaluate a patient’s risk for adverse effects of vaccination and inform the patient of them before offering it.
Every Nursing Home Must Have Protocols and Procedures to Prevent Abuse and Neglect
Every nursing home resident has the right to “be free from abuse and neglect.” Hence, a long-term care facility must implement measures to prevent mistreatment against residents, regardless of whether a staff member, visitor, or resident causes it.
The different types of abuse that may occur in a nursing facility are:
- Physical Abuse:Any act that causes bodily injury or harm to a resident, including slapping, kicking, pushing, and restraining without a medical reason.
- Sexual Abuse:A non-consensual sexual act with a resident, such as unwanted touching, verbal sexual harassment, explicit photography, and rape. A sexual act with a person that cannot give valid consent is also considered sexual abuse.
- Emotional or Psychological Abuse:A verbal or non-verbal act that causes mental or emotional harm to a resident, such as humiliation, gaslighting, degradation, and intimidation.
- Financial Abuse:Any illegal or unauthorized manipulation of a resident’s assets, including theft of personal belongings, coercion into signing financial documents, and accessing bank accounts without consent.
- Neglect:The intentional or unintentional failure to provide a resident’s basic needs, including food, water, clothing, medical care, mobility aids, and social interaction. Neglect also includes failing to prevent accidents, medication errors, resident-to-resident altercations, and other preventable harm.
Common Causes of Abuse and Neglect in Senior Care Facilities
The mistreatment of short or long-stay residents in nursing homes can stem from the following factors:
- Understaffing:A facility with chronic staffing shortages often delivers poor quality care to short and long-stay residents. Residents affected by substandard treatment may suffer harm due to inadequate supervision, disgruntled employees, insufficient medical care, etc.
- Poor Hiring Practices:Nursing home staff must have adequate education, training, and experience to care for short and long-stay residents. Otherwise, they may be more prone to making mistakes and committing negligence. Poor hiring methods include not conducting background checks, verifying backgrounds, and providing proper training to new hires.
- Improper Management:Every facility needs a good management team to keep employees engaged, motivated, and productive. Otherwise, employees may deviate from professional standards or abuse residents on purpose.
- Underreporting:Nursing home abuse is a common yet underreported problem in the US. Although health care professionals are legally required to report incidents to the authorities, many fail or simply ignore the problem. As a result, issues remain unaddressed, and the cycle of abuse continues.
If you feel your loved one is not receiving appropriate care in their nursing home, contact the Illinois Department of Public Health to report your concerns. Similarly, both short and long-stay residents can file complaints if they feel a nursing home is violating their rights.
Hire Personal Injury Lawyers to Resolve Your Nursing Home Compensation Claim
Do you suspect your loved one was abused or neglected while residing at Briar Place or another Illinois long-term care facility? The nursing home abuse attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers can help.
Talk to our Chicago, IL nursing home abuse law firm at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) or use the contact form to schedule a free consultation. All confidential or sensitive information you share with our legal team remains private through an attorney-client relationship.
Our personal injury attorneys accept all nursing home abuse cases and wrongful death lawsuits on a contingency fee agreement. This arrangement ensures you will pay no upfront fees until your legal team obtains financial recovery through a negotiated settlement or jury award.