This was life in one of Illinois' "one-star" nursing homes.
These health violations—and two dozen more—were documented last year on a single inspection of the Berwyn Rehabilitation Center, contributing to its dubious distinction as one of the area's worst nursing homes.
The federal government is now rating nursing facilities on a 1 to 5 star system. Although conditions at one-star homes are startling, what is perhaps more alarming is their prevalence: About a quarter of U.S. nursing homes, including 81 in the six-county Chicago area, received one star.
A government Web site began posting ratings on these homes in December. Nursing home operators and even some patient advocates have criticized the rankings as superficial and perhaps misleading. And the detailed information behind those ratings is not readily available to the public.
But the Tribune obtained the most recent inspection reports for the area's lowest-rated homes through a Freedom of Information Act request. The conditions described are grim and, at times, deadly—as the Berwyn facility demonstrates.
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Misery: Inside a 1-star nursing home