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Illinois nursing home care providers show even in snow

While so many nursing homes have been accused of abhorrent neglect and abuse, the lucky residents of one special system of health care have enjoyed an exemplary level of quality care by the staff, come rain or shine.

With this winter's crippling storms and icy roadways plaguing numerous states across the nation, one on-call coordinator/nurse at Heritage Health Care in Normal has been known to come to work at 3 a.m. in the morning to check on her patients.

Long-term medical care at nursing homes is a 24/7 responsibility, and one that her employees take seriously, in spite of frigid temperatures and a steady barrage of snow.

The corporate director of Bloomington Chestnut Health Systems owes the hard work to the dedication of his staff who know their residents count on them to be there. Some are elderly and some are adults struggling with addictions and substance abuse.

Staff make detailed plans in anticipation of storms and blizzards. Teaching and therapy continue as staff coordinate planning for transportation days before snow storms hit. It is not uncommon for them to bring an overnight bag to stay the night in order to resume work the next day. It's all about teamwork. And, as one staff member says, "lots of caffeine."

Their motivation is that staff cares for their residents and are dedicated to making sure they are safe, happy and comfortable.

Tragically, many nursing homes are places of deplorable living conditions, fraught with mysterious deaths, abuse or neglect. All elderly residents of nursing homes deserve the treatment provided by the health care professionals mentioned in the case above. Our seniors, who have made contributions to the communities in which we live, deserve to be treated with the affection and the dignity they have worked a lifetime to achieve. If you or someone you know have been subjected to inappropriate treatment in a nursing home, there are state and federal guidelines in place to protect the health and well being of these valued members of society.

Source: Pantagraph, "Snow days? Not for these hardy souls" Paul Swiech, Feb. 05, 2014

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