November 2, 2000
NEW ATHENS NURSING HOME FINED
SPRINGFIELD, IL The Illinois Department of Public Health has fined New Athens Home for the Aged $10,000 (Statement of Violation) for failure to take the necessary precautions to prevent a confused elderly resident from leaving the facility. The 64-bed intermediate care facility is located at 203 S. Johnson St. in New Athens.
Responding to a complaint, Department surveyors learned that a resident, who has a history of wandering, left the care center unnoticed, apparently through the sun room entrance.
An off-duty staff member, who was leaving the home, heard someone crying "it hurts" and found the resident lying on the ground in front of the facility next to the road. The facility's entrance is located on a steep incline with steps leading down to a two-way street. The resident was taken to a local hospital where she was treated for a fractured left wrist, cuts and abrasions.
At the time of the incident, the off-duty employee noted that the facility's alarm was sounding, but, two staff members inside the facility stated they did not hear the alarm nor were they aware the resident left the facility. Surveyors determined through staff interviews that the sun room door's alarm had been muffled by a piece of cotton placed over its speaker.
A Department-ordered plan of correction required the facility to maintain all exterior door alarms and ensure constant visual supervision for all resident-accessible exterior doors not equipped with alarms.
New Athens Home for the Aged has requested a hearing on the Department's action. A hearing date has not been scheduled.
of Public Health
535 West Jefferson Street
Springfield, Illinois 62761
Questions or Comments