Care Facilities Fined for Abuse

Care Facilities Fined for Abuse
By: Arnold Wyrick
The Illinois Department of Public Health fined several Southern Illinois health care facilities thousands of dollars on Wednesday. The fines ranged from $20,000 to $5,000.
The Helia Healthcare facility in Energy received a $20,000 fine after investigators discovered that an employee has used a patient bed sheets to restrain the patient. And the same employee locked another patient in a closet on several occasions.
"The caregiver should be fired in my opinion. And whether or not criminal charges are brought forth depends on the seriousness of what they did. But definitely fired," says Helen Pagano of West Frankfort.
Helia's administrator tells Heartland News they did fire the employee immediately upon discovery of the abuse. And immediately conducted a resident care training session for all remaining employees.
Just up the road in Herrin an employee at the Shawnee Christian Nursing Center is accused of sexually abusing an Alzheimer patient. The center was fined $5,000. The employee was terminated. He now faces criminal charges in connection with the abuse.
"At some point they absolutely should be closed. If it's a one time thing with employees, I think there should be some mercy. But if it's a consistent thing, abusing senior citizens close it down," says Tom Watkins of West Frankfort.
In West Frankfort the Homestead House was fined $15,000 for failing to monitor their water temperatures. The oversight resulted in a patient receiving second degree burns while trying to take a bath.
In Du Quoin the Fair Acres Care Center paid a $5,000 fine for failing to monitor a patient who wandered off the property unnoticed.
"I'm getting old myself, and I'm not going to no nursing home that's for sure. I'd rather just lay there and die before I'd let them people pick on me, or do stuff to me. Because I couldn't stand it, I'd feel tortured," says May Hawkins of West Frankfort.
If you feel that your loved one is a victim of abuse, you need to contact the local police. And file a report with your states public health department.