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Illinois nursing home safety reports

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UPDATED: Oct. 27, 2009

Sources: Illinois Department of Public Health, Medicare, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Chicago Police Department, The Chicago Reporter,
Tribune research.

Some data processing for this project was performed by
ILM Corporation of Fredericksburg, Va.

Resources for nursing home shoppers

By Sam Roe, David Jackson, Gary Marx, Nicole Leonhardt, Joe Germuska, Ryan Mark and Brian Boyer | Tribune reporters

UPDATED: Oct. 27, 2009

Government agencies and nonprofit advocacy groups maintain Web sites intended for use by potential nursing home clients and their families, but these do not include critical patient safety information.

Many Illinois facilities have been cited for improperly treating residents with dangerous psychotropic medications, as the Tribune reports in the second installment of our series, Tribune Watchdog: Compromised care.

Others are home to convicted felons and mentally ill adults under the age of 65, who can pose risks to other residents if not properly treated and supervised.

Nursing homes featured in our series

Pekin Living & Rehab Center — Pekin

Lloyd Berkley, 74, was in this facility just eight hours when an unlicensed nurse held him down and injected him with an antipsychotic drug, records show. Several hours later, Berkley fatally hurt his head in a fall. The home, now under new ownership and called Timbercreek, declined to comment.

Heritage Nursing Home — Chicago

For 16 straight days last year, nurses at this home tried to give an antipsychotic drug to a man who steadfastly refused. On the 17th day, records show, a nurse gave him the medication without telling him what it was until after he had swallowed it. Heritage declined to comment.

Evergreen Nursing and Rehabilitation Center — Effingham

A resident with Alzheimer’s disease who was on numerous psychotropic drugs fell eight times here in 2006, with the last fall fracturing her spine, records show. She died 11 days later. Evergreen called the case a "very isolated incident" and said there was no evidence that the drugs contributed to her death.

Tower Hill Healthcare Center — South Elgin

Inspectors reported finding a resident on antipsychotic drugs who was continually rocking, which can be a side effect of the medication. The home updated her records to say she "will rock in chair in attempt to get up," a description the inspectors rejected. Tower Hill declined to comment, saying it is under new ownership.

Burnham Healthcare — Burnham

Thomas Donovan, 63, died here from "multiple injuries due to an assault," according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office. As of June, 65 of its roughly 300 residents were ex-convicts, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health. Administrators at the facility say the number has since dropped to 43 and dispute that Donovan’s death was a homicide.

Maplewood Care — Elgin

A 21-year-old resident was charged in January with raping a 69-year-old mentally ill woman at this facility. It is among only a small number of nursing homes cited by state health officials for infractions that place residents in "immediate jeopardy" of serious harm. The owners say they work hard to protect residents.

Rainbow Beach Care Center — Chicago

Only 13 of the home’s roughly 211 residents are 65 or older, and 24 are felons, the most recent state reports say. Chicago police list 12 battery or assault reports and three arrests for narcotics possession here since March 2008. In July, police arrested a 34-year-old resident with six packets of cocaine. The owners declined requests for comment.

Somerset Place — Chicago

This 400-bed facility in the Uptown neighborhood houses 62 felons, the recent state reports say, including some arrested repeatedly while living at the home. Police have responded to 17 reports of battery or assault here since March 2008, records show. Somerset issued a statement saying the facility works to "maintain a safe environment."