Nursing home administrators decline to comment on violations
SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Last week, we uncovered some disturbing details about nursing home violations in the South Bend area.
Cases of abuse and neglect were widespread in several facilities, and we wanted to know what steps caregivers were taking to ensure patient safety.
After failing to get in touch with the appropriate people by phone, we went searching for answers in person.
ABC57's Daryl Bjoraas introduced himself to the administrator of the Ironwood Health and Rehab Center, wanting to know more about the 28 violations that occured over the year, but she declined to comment.
"It's our policy that we don't do any news interviews or anything like that," said the administrator.
Ironwood Health and Rehab Center was just one facility in South Bend that had a lot of violations.
We went to places like Cardinal Nursing and Rehab, the Milton Home and Southfield Village, but got the same response from everyone.
"You'll have to contact our Public Relations department."
Curious why this area had so many problems, we reached out to Brian Lee, Executive Director for Families For Better Care, a nursing home advocacy group.
"Residents whether they get good care or bad care, the nursing home operators are going to get paid regardless," said Lee.
Indiana is one of the worst states in the nation, ranking 49th overall, for the number of hours given to a resident per day at just 2.1 hours. Lee said violations happen because staffing is low, penalties aren't high enough and Medicare keeps on paying out despite violations.
"If the Governor and the legislature were serious about elder care in Indiana, and elderly rights, they would be in South Bend immediately, taking action to ensure residents are safe and taken care for," said Lee.
--- If you, a friend or relative were abused in a Michiana nursing home, ABC57's Daryl Bjoraas would like to hear from you. Feel free to reach him on his cell 574-440-4435 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org