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DIGGING DEEPER: Family member speaks out after incident at local nursing home

Two Quincy nursing homes have been fined following incidents, according to a new quarterly report from the Illinois Department of Public Health.

The family of the man involved in an incident at St. Vincent’s in Quincy is speaking out about what happened. We’re also learning more about what you can do to protect your loved ones.

It’s been a hard few months for Nicky Carson, after her 92-year-old grandpa, Ralph Mast, died in October 2018. She says he moved to St. Vincent’s home after a fall at his own home, but she believes the fall at St. Vincent’s home is what led to his death.

“He would say he can’t do this anymore and he’d say that they can’t fix it,” said Carson.

St. Vincent’s home officials declined to go on camera, but released a statement saying he was lowered to the ground, and was not dropped. However, Carson says that’s not what staff told her after it happened.

“They actually called me and told me he was being moved from a two person lift to a hoist lift because he was dropped during a transfer and they can’t risk their employees getting hurt,” said Carson.”What? What about the patient?”

Carson says her grandpa had only been at St. Vincent’s for a few weeks before this happened and he never gave any indication that he was being mistreated.

Regional Ombudsman Stephen Maxwell works with victims and victims families who are in long-term care. Maxwell says when a complaint is made to him or his department, it usually takes within a weeks time to make contact with the resident.

“We go and talk to the resident,” said Maxwell. “If they feel like the issue is something they want us to work on then we will go and work on their behalf. We follow their direction to try and get what they want accomplished.”

Maxwell says residents don’t always speak up, that’s why he encourages family members to talk to residents in nursing homes and ask questions.

“If you are involved with them and their life, these issues aren’t going to come up as often,” said Maxwell.

Carson wishes she could’ve done more to help her grandpa.

“My experience now has been horrible,” said Carson.”I knew he would pass sometime but I never imagined it would be from something like this.”

Carson says she’s reached out to lawyers about her grandfather’s death, but she says they told her since he was 92, there’s not much they can do.

If you think there may be a problem at your loved one’s nursing home, Maxwell suggests addressing it with staff there. If that doesn’t work, you can give the Ombudsman Program a call at (800) 798-0988.

Kaylee Pfeiferling

Multimedia Journalist

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