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Locustwood Home To Shut Down

Nov 2, 2002 | Rockford Register Star A Rockford nursing home, recently fined by the state for not properly reporting sexual abuse, plans to close its doors because its parent company filed for bankruptcy in a federal court in Texas.

Locustwood Health Care Center, 3520 School St., filed documents with the Illinois Department of Public Health on Oct. 25 indicating its intent to close the 63-bed facility, state officials said, but has not filed its formal, 90-day notice.

State health officials won’t hear Locustwood’s closure application until at least Jan. 16, but the facility can move ahead with plans to close, an agency spokeswoman said.

“We have been on the site and are monitoring the relocation process,” said IDPH spokeswoman Tammy Leonard. “We are working to make sure things go smoothly for residents and their families, and to make sure adequate staff remains on site through the process.”

Locustwood’s parent company, Indiana-based Senior Living Properties, filed for bankruptcy in May in U.S. Bankruptcy Court’s Northern District of Texas.

A representative from Locustwood said they’re trying to relocate residents by a Jan. 20 closing date but declined further comment. The center’s administrator was unavailable for comment, and attempts to reach corporate officials in Indiana also were unsuccessful.

Texas Attorney General John Cornyn successfully petitioned the federal court to appoint an ombudsman to identify, investigate and resolve any complaints made by or on behalf of residents of the company’s 51 facilities in Texas.

Senior Living Properties owns 26 facilities in Illinois. It has closed three facilities in recent years, according to state officials, and is in the process of also closing a facility in Monmouth, just south of Galesburg.

The closure announcement comes weeks after the state fined Locustwood $10,000 on Oct. 16 for failing to properly investigate and report the apparent sexual abuse of a female resident by another resident.

State investigators, following up on complaints, determined in June that the Locustwood staff failed to report and investigate a May 17 incident involving the apparent sexual assault of the female resident in a timely manner and monitor the activities of the suspected resident, who had a history of aggressive behavior.

The report filed by state investigators does not clearly state whether a sexual assault occurred, but the woman’s injuries were similar to those of a rape victim. State officials did not know Friday night if police investigated the incident.

According to records, the suspected resident, who had a history of 27 admissions to a mental health center and five admissions to an institution for the criminally insane, was admitted to Locustwood on April 23 despite protests from staff concerned they were not properly trained to handle a resident with such behavior.

Staff told state investigators he physically intimidated and made sexual advances to staff and residents during the month prior to the assault.

State investigators also found Locustwood had admitted other mentally ill residents, including one who spent 20 years in an institution for the criminally insane.

In May 1990, Locustwood was one of four regional nursing homes penalized for failing to meet minimum state and federal health care standards in 1988 and 1989. The four homes were among 106 in the state that regulatory agencies took action against.

Of the four regional homes, Locustwood had the most violations with 34.

Among the 34 violations were unnecessary use of drugs and restraints to control patients, failure to prevent or properly treat bed sores and not enough staff. At the time, the home was owned by Springwood Associates, which bought the facility in late 1988.

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