Fines, violations and warnings, nursing home report details offenders

Of the 725 nursing homes across the state, Central Illinois has some of the best and worst, according to Illinois state inspections.

25 News Investigative reporter Lauren Melendez, dug into hundreds of reports to find out where your loved ones may be at risk.

Research revealed at least thirty nursing homes in downstate Illinois, the state deems ‘under-performing.’

Two of them however; stuck out more than many others.

A search of ‘Medicare.gov‘ shows countless long-term care facilities, struggling to meet state standards.

Those facilities are evaluated by inspectors on health, staffing, and quality measures – on a 1-5 star scale.

Krystal – a local woman whose last name is being withheld to protect her anonymity – says her father had Dementia. She decided to share her experience, watching her father live out his days as a resident at Aperion Care in Bloomington.

Krystal did so, with the agreement that 25 News blur her face in the story, because she feared the Aperion employees might retaliate against her dad for sharing what she calls ‘disturbing information and images.’

“If he knew how he was living, he’d be mortified. I’m mortified.” Krystal explains she would yank him out of the nursing home immediately if she were his Power of Attorney, but she isn’t.

She grew emotional as she explained how tough it is to even hug her dad sometimes because of the conditions she says she often find him, when she visits.

“When I look at his pants he’s wet from where he’s urinated through his depends. {Crying} It’s pretty bad. It’s horrible.” she said.

At one point, she saw a puddle of urine in her father’s bathroom that had just been left there. She was disgusted. She described her dad as a funny, loving and well-groomed man. The person she often visits, isn’t the dad she remembers fondly.

Despite it all, Krystal would faithfully drive upwards of an hour each week to spend time with him. She also noticed the staff there were short and would find herself in situations where she was volunteering help.

Unfortunately, since the time Lauren Melendez interviewed Krystal, to the day this report aired, her father passed away. Saddened of course, Krystal explains the bright side, is that her father is no longer living at Aperion.

The franchise has several locations in Illinois, but their twin cities site, is the only one with a ‘caution’ symbol next to their review on Medicare. It means they’re a ‘Special Focus Facility’ with a “history of poor persistent quality care.”

It also means, the site is subject to more frequent state inspections, harsher federal penalties and a potential for Medicare and Medicaid denial.

In Chicago, Fred Frankel – Aperion’s ‘General Counsel’ explains he inherited the company along with a slew of problems in 2016, from previous owners who went bankrupt. Frankel tells the 25 News Investigative team

“We have staffing issues we are working to improve. We are here to make things better. Change takes time and we understand everyone won’t be happy.”

A snapshot into Aperion’s recent history shows in the last three years there have been

  • 2 federal fines totaling $117,930
  • 80 complaints resulting in citations,
  • 4 fire safety violations since 2018.

In October 2018, one inspection states Aperion “failed” to properly store food which resulted in “immediate jeopardy” to all 72 residents; putting them at risk of getting food borne illness


The food was discarded, no residents were served, but Aperion remained out of compliance for days.

Frankel added:  “We take these issues serious. We want to give the highest quality care for residents of all Aperion facilities.”

—————-

In Pekin, Timbercreek Rehab and Healthcare Center ranks much below average for both their overall rating and health inspections with a single star.

In the last three years this facility  had

  • 32 complaints resulting in citations
  • Multiple occasions where the resident’s well-being was at risk deemed

The average number of facility health problems in the entire country. is 7.8 per year.  From April 2018 to March 2019,  Timbercreek had 26; triple the national average.

Lauren Melendez reached out several times to management, as well as leaving messages. Calls were not returned.

As she dug deeper, she recognized a pattern of ‘below average’ performance. Medicare lists a spectrum of care ranging from 1 to 4, broken down as the following:

1 – potential for minimal harm
2 – minimal harm or potential for actual harm
3 – actual harm
and 4 – immediate jeopardy to health and safety.

In 2017, records show one person had a pressure ulcer get so bad they required surgery.
Just one of 4 separate ‘immediate jeopardy’ situations where Timbercreek neglected protocol.

Inspections show they also neglected to properly treat or prevent bed sores 4 times in a 7 month period in 2017.

—————-

In Chenoa – Meadows Mennonite Retirement community also ranks “much below average” across the board.

In the last 3 years this facility had

  • 29 complaints resulting in citations
  • 8 fire safety citations in 2018
  • Multiple ‘immediate jeopardy’ safety infractions

In 2017, Meadows was investigated for failing to ensure the privacy of 12 cognitively impaired residents in the ‘dementia unit’

One resident’s picture was leaked online showing her sitting in a shower chair with feces on the floor.

Another resident’s picture was leaked with her breast partially revealed.

Management wasn’t immediately available for an on-camera interview but provided this statement about why this happened.

Nicole Hibbert, Experience Director for Meadows Communities explained

“Meadow’s seeks to care for seniors in the belief that god desires all people to enjoy dignity, respect, love and care. This isolated incident is not a reflection of our mission. We responded immediately and appropriately at the time the incident occurred to ensure that our resident’s safety and dignity was secured.”

Krystal however, hopes no one ever experiences the pain she says she did, witnessing a loved one not have the best quality of life.

While the brunt of issues cannot merely be placed on nursing home employees or the state, it is clear from research that a concerted effort from all parties and a severe reevaluation of systems, could do everyone good – especially the elderly residents directly impacted by the aforementioned care.

Krystal says she hopes people will take a closer look at these facilities, look beyond the surface and do their research before putting relatives in a nursing home.

On Medicare’s website, the “Nursing Home Compare’ tool allows you to search by zip code and by name. There, all state inspections and detailed reports are readily available for review.

Additional Info

Within 25 miles of 61606 “Much Below Average” – 1star Overall Rating (Please check website for additional health & staffing statistics)

ROSEWOOD CARE CENTER OF PEORIA

ROSEWOOD CARE CENTER OF EAST PEORIA

APERION CARE PEORIA HEIGHTS

PEKIN MANOR

SNYDER VILLAGE

LOFT REHABILITATION & NURSING

Within 25 miles of 61709  “Much Below Average” – 1star Overall Rating (Please check website for additional health & staffing statistics)

BLOOMINGTON REHABILITATION & HCC

LEROY MANOR

 

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