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Illinois reacts to study on poor care in nursing homes

Concerns across the nation have increased following a report from the Department of Health and Human Services, surrounding a high incidence of negative treatment of patients in nursing home facilities. This is especially critical to Illinois residents who have thousands of loved ones in the nursing homes across the state.

According to the government report, one-third of all patients in long-term care nursing homes across the nation are victims of detrimental medical treatment. This includes failure to provide necessary care, such as preventable blood clots, mistreatment of infection, medication errors, inadequate monitoring, and deaths involving problems such as fluid imbalances, excessive bleeding from blood-thinning medications and kidney failure.

Patient advocate groups are shocked by what they hear from skilled nursing patients and families. Medical groups have reacted with mixed feelings, concluding that these numbers can be drastically reduced, looking to the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality as well as Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services for help. This agency has taken measures in the past to promote patient safety measures in hospitals, and now suggests periodic reviews and inspections of nursing homes to reduce adverse events.

One senior living community, Oak Trace Health Center, has welcomed a new medical director and director of nursing to its staff. Both are expected to enhance the standard of care in the system, including emphasis on catered living, memory support, and rehabilitation. Administrators see the additions as a welcomed effort to refresh the staff and emphasize the best health care services in the area, including increased nurse training and activities focusing on long-term care. The community provides seniors a unique set of life experience choices and options, including independent living apartments and amenities.

The state of Illinois cares about your loved ones in long term skilled nursing home care facilities. Here and in other states, we are witnessing a movement to respond to a significant trend to raise awareness and bring improvements to the network of nursing homes across the state. Whether your loved one has suffered a fall, a mysterious reaction to medication or any other type of symptom indicating neglect, you have a right to investigate these violations under the law.

Source: The Huffington Post, "One Third Of Patients In Skilled Nursing Facilities Harmed During Treatment" Marshall Allen, Mar. 03, 2014

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