Many families place their loved ones in a nursing home to ensure they receive the highest level of care. Unfortunately, not every facility properly trains its nurses and certified nursing aides to follow physicians’ orders.
- Aperion Care Highwood
- Highwood Nursing Home Resident Safety Concerns
- Why Appropriate Treatment for Pressure Ulcers Is Necessary to Save Lives
- Preventing Urinary Tract Infections
- When a Family Member Files a Wrongful Death Lawsuit After Losing a Loved One from Abuse or Neglect
- Highwood Illinois Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers
Their substandard care often compromises the resident’s well-being. Were you or your loved one mistreated in Aperion Care Highwood? The personal injury attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC provide legal services to treated and neglected patients in Illinois nursing facilities, including Aperion Care Highwood.
Contact nursing home abuse and neglect attorneys today 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.
Aperion Care Highwood
The Pleasant Avenue Highwood, IL Center is a 104-certified-bed ‘for profit’ Medicaid/Medicare-approved nursing home (not a continuing care retirement community) providing services to residents of Highwood and Marine Township, Lake County Illinois. The nursing home is located at:
50 Pleasant Ave.
Highwood, IL 60040
In addition to providing long-term care services and skilled nursing care for daily living activities, Aperion Care Highwood offers:
- Cardiac rehabilitation
- Joint replacement/orthopedic therapy
- Post-stroke rehab
- Short term rehabilitation
- Occupational, speech, and physical therapy
- Wound care
- Post-surgery care
- Hospital/palliative care
- Alzheimer’s/dementia care
- IV infusion therapy
- Diabetes management
- Medications management
- Respiratory therapy
Highwood Nursing Home Resident Safety Concerns
Families routinely research the Medicare database system for a complete list of health violations, file complaints, safety concerns, and open investigations.
Currently, Aperion Care of Highwood maintains an overall two out of five available rating in the Medicare star rating comparative analysis system. This includes:
- Two out of five stars for health inspections
- One out of five stars for staffing concerns
- Five out of five stars for quality measures
The Lake County nursing home neglect attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC have found serious safety concerns at this facility that include:
Failure to Provide Appropriate Pressure Ulcer Care and Prevent New Ulcers from Developing – Deficiency #F0686
A resident was observed in bed being changed by a certified nursing assistant. The resident had contracted legs and a “stage I pressure wound on her upper back, right foot, and coccyx [all on areas with a bony prominence]. She did not have any interventions in place. No boots, no air mattress, no wedge for turning, with no dressing on red spots. She was also on a regular mattress.”
The Director of Nursing stated that “she was supposed to have a low air loss mattress, and she didn’t know why someone probably forgot.” The resident’s Wound Care Summary identified her wounds as being “facility-acquired.”
Second Bedsore Incident
In a separate summary statement of deficiencies dated December 2, 2021, the state investigator noted that Aperion Care Highwood “failed to perform and document thorough pressure ulcer assessments for residents admitted with multiple pressure ulcers.”
State investigators witnessed the resident “lying in bed with her head elevated, looking at her cell phone.” The Aperion Care Highwood resident stated, “she had fallen in the shower and home and got stuck for five days.”
The resident stated that “she had to have her left leg amputated as a result” and was “in another rehab facility before being admitted” to Aperion Care Highwood. She stated that on the day she was admitted, the facility’s wound nurse was not working, and the wounds had never been measured.
Delayed Wound Assessment
Documents show that ten days after the resident’s admission to Aperion Care Highwood, she developed a stage II pressure ulcer measuring 7 cm x 8 cm x 0.10 cm on her left leg stump.
Additionally, she had developed an “unstageable pressure ulcer measuring 1 cm x .5 cm x unknown depth with necrotic, hard, firm, adherent tissue to 100% of the wound on her right great toe.
The Aperion Care Highwood report also showed a facility-acquired unstageable pressure wound measuring 1.1 cm x 1.20 cm X unknown depth wound with necrotic tissue on 100% of the sore and another unstageable pressure wound on the right knee.
While the resident was admitted to the facility on November 19, 2021, it was not until ten days later, on November 29, 2021, that a complete pressure ulcer assessment was entered into the patient’s electronic medical records.
Failure to Honor the Resident’s Right to a Dignified Existence, Self-Determination, Communication, and to Exercise His or Her Rights – Deficiency #F0500
In a summary statement of deficiencies dated March 18, 2021, the State investigators documented that Aperion Care Highwood “failed to ensure residents were treated in a dignified manner.” The investigation involved three residents at the facility.
March 15, 2021, a resident was observed in their bed after 10:00 AM, stating to the investigator, “I need to talk to you. I am upset! I told the guy that served my breakfast, I’m wet, and I needed to be changed. But he went ahead and serve my breakfasts. He said he had no time to change me. Then he told me, I have to eat my breakfasts while I’m wet, I don’t like it one bit!”
CNA Says He’s Too Busy to Provide Care
The investigator asked the Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) who had brought the resident their breakfast to describe what happened. The CNA stated he did not change the resident when the resident “requested to be changed.” He stated, “he had no time. He was busy.”
In a second incident on the same day, the investigator witnessed a CNA changing another residence bed while the resident was in the bed and “completely uncovered and naked. The curtains on the exterior window were wide open. When asked about being changed with the curtains wide-open, [the Aperion Care Highwood resident] said, “it really bothers me. I wish they wouldn’t do that.”
Clothes Never Returned from the Laundry
In a third incident the following day, just before noon, a resident stated, “she didn’t have any clothes when she came to the facility. The facility donated some clothes. She sent the close to the laundry (in October 2020) and never got them back.”
The resident stated, “she told everyone about the missing clothes. Everyone kept telling her that she would get them back on Monday, then on Wednesday, then on Friday, but she never got the clothes back.” The resident told the investigator that “she had some clothes in her closet that she said were dirty, but didn’t want to send them to the laundry because she was afraid they wouldn’t come back.”
The investigator interviewed a registered nurse who stated, “she knew about [the resident’s] missing clothes. She stated that [the resident] came from a homeless shelter in didn’t have any clothes. The facility gave her some, then complained that they were missing. She was [unaware] of what happened with the clothes and said that [guest relations staff] was the person to talk to.”
Guest Relations Knows About Missing Clothes: Takes No Action to Help
The Aperion Care Highwood guest relations person stated that she was aware of the resident’s missing clothes and said, “this happens a lot and is a big issue because the facility doesn’t have on-site laundry, and they are sent off-site for laundry.” She stated that the clothes they gave the resident “were not labeled, and that is why they didn’t come back to her.” The resident disputed that, stating that she had labeled the clothes herself with her name and room number.
Investigators reviewed the facility’s grievance logs from October 2020, but nothing was in it concerning the resident’s missing clothes.
A Staff Failure to Follow Aperion Care of Highwood Dignity Policy
The investigator then reviewed the Aperion Care Highwood Dignity Policy dated November 28, 2021, which revealed:
“The facility shall promote care for residents in a manner and in an environment that maintains or enhances each resident’s dignity and respect and full recognition of his or her individuality. The facility shall consider the resident’s lifestyle and personal choices identified through the assessment processes to obtain a picture of his or her individual needs and preferences. Staff shall carry out activities in a manner which assists the resident to maintain and enhance his/her self-esteem and self-worth.”
Why Appropriate Treatment for Pressure Ulcers Is Necessary to Save Lives
Pressure ulcers (bed sores, pressure sores, pressure wounds, decubitus ulcers) are a common problem for nursing home residents. These painful sores can occur when there is constant pressure on the skin, often when someone is confined to a bed or wheelchair.
Bedsores at Aperion Care Highwood can arise due to extended periods of time spent in bed or sitting in a chair. The constant pressure on the skin can damage the tissue and lead to the formation of an open wound. These wounds can become infected if left untreated and lead to serious health complications, including death.
Aperion Care Highwood patients at risk for developing pressure wounds must receive appropriate treatment and care to prevent these wounds from developing. Unfortunately, many nursing facilities are not equipped to handle this type of care, which can lead to serious consequences for residents.
Two-Thirds of Nursing Home Residents Develop Facility-Acquired Pressure Sores
One study found that nearly two-thirds of nursing home residents with pressure sores did not receive appropriate treatment, increasing their risk for developing more serious complications. In some cases, residents may not be properly assessed for their risk of developing decubitus ulcers or may not receive timely care once they have developed a wound.
This lack of quality care can be deadly for at-risk nursing home residents. One study found that the mortality rate for nursing home residents with pressure wounds was more than four times higher than those without them.
Proper treatment for decubitus ulcers is critical to saving lives and preventing serious health complications in nursing home residents. By ensuring that residents receive timely assessment and care, we can help improve their quality of life and prevent avoidable deaths.
The disabled and elderly risk decubitus ulcers because they often have difficulty moving and can be inactive for long periods.
There are multiple bed sore stages, including:
- Stage I (erythema): in its initial stage, the skin becomes red and inflamed, with no broken skin or scabs. The area may be painful to the touch and feel warm to the patient.
- Stage II (induration): the skin will thicken and form a hard scab. The area may be swollen, and there may be drainage from the wound.
- Stage III (necrosis): at this stage, the skin will start to die and become black or brown. The area will be very swollen, and the wound may have a bad odor.
- Stage IV (sloughing/debridement): The dead skin will start to come off in pieces at this stage. The presence of bacteria in the open wound can be painful for the patient, and it is important to keep the area clean and dry to prevent infection.
- Unstageable: the buildup of necrotic (dead) tissue, dried blood, and debris can mask the open wound making it difficult if not impossible, to accurately diagnose the declining stage. Typically, surgical removal (debridement) is necessary to promote healing.
In the final stages of skin decline, the wound will likely never heal or allow new skin to grow back. When the healing process does occur, it usually takes a long time, depending on how bad the wound was initially.
Drastic steps must be taken to prevent infection and promote healing and fewer hospitalizations for skincare treatment.
Without following the facility’s infection prevention control program, the nursing staff must often transfer a resident with debilitating bedsore to a local hospital emergency room to receive immediate lifesaving care.
Preventing Urinary Tract Infections
Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are a common and potentially devastating healthcare-associated infection (HAI) that nursing home residents are at high risk for developing. UTIs account for nearly one-third of all HAIs among nursing home residents.
There are several ways that nursing homes can prevent UTIs from occurring in their residents. First and foremost, nursing homes must develop an infection prevention control program (IPCP). The IPCP should include evidence-based interventions to reduce the risk of UTIs, such as:
- Promptly catheterizing residents who cannot void on their own
- Use sterile techniques when catheterizing
- Ensure that catheters are properly sized and fitted
- Clean urinary drainage bags regularly
- Provide adequate hydration to residents to prevent a major injury
- Educate staff on how to properly care for residents with a catheter
Many nursing home residents receiving disabled or senior care require assistance with activities of daily living. Caregivers must perform activities the resident can no longer do without assistance.
When a Family Member Files a Wrongful Death Lawsuit After Losing a Loved One from Abuse or Neglect
Many families place their loved ones in nursing homes, like Aperion Care Highwood, to receive disabled or senior care, hoping they return home in better health. Unfortunately, not all caregivers provide their patients with quality nursing home care and hygiene assistance in long-term care facilities.
While the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) requires nursing homes to provide care based on the resident’s preferences, the quality of care and services are often substandard. Many disabled individuals and seniors die prematurely in nursing homes due to a lack of care for resident safety.
Illinois law provides every close family member legal opportunities to recover compensation when losing a loved one through nursing home neglect or abuse. A wrongful death lawsuit against the at-fault nursing home, caregiver, or administrator can help your family during this difficult time.
To ensure you and your family receive the best possible outcome in your case, it is crucial to hire an experienced wrongful death lawyer who understands how to investigate and gather evidence of abuse or neglect in a nursing home setting.
Call our Illinois nursing home abuse office today to schedule a free consultation with one of our knowledgeable attorneys. We will review your case and help you understand your legal options.
Highwood Illinois Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers
If your spouse, parent, or grandparent has been injured or died prematurely while residing at Aperion Care Highwood, call the Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC law firm now. Our Illinois nursing home attorneys can fight for your loved one’s rights and take immediate legal action to stop the neglect.
Contact our Lake County nursing abuse law firm today at (888) 424-5757 to schedule a no-obligation free initial case consultation. All information you share with our law offices remains confidential. We accept every nursing home abuse and neglect case on contingency fee arrangements to avoid needing an upfront retainer or payment.