(CBS) — Allegations of neglect, filth and short staffing at a Chicago nursing home and CBS 2’s Dana Kozlov reports it’s not the first time the facility has had questions.
Stan McKinney and his sister, Geraldine, believe Chicago’s Mayfield Care Center in South Austin contributed to the death of thier mother, Dorothy. And they aren’t alone.
“It was just the smell of death,” Stan McKinney told CBS 2.
“It was gross neglect,” said Geraldine McKinney.
The McKinneys say their mother had dementia when they placed her in Mayfield in 2015 to live alongside their disabled brother. Red flags went up almost immediately.
“Human waste on the floors,” recalled Stan McKinney. “I’ve been there and literally witnessed employees stealing clothing off the occupants.”
“I’ve gone when she was just on a mattress,” added Geraldine McKinney. “There was no linen.”
Geraldine McKinney said there were two occasions when she found her mother totally nude, walking the floor. Geraldine had to find somebody to give her a sheet until they had a hospital gown.
The McKinneys say they complained and wrote letters to Mayfield managers, including one about the deplorable conditions they observed. Their concerns grew, especially when their mom talked about sleeping on the floor after a fall.
“That was something I heard her say on a number of occasions … which meant nobody picked her up,” Stan McKinney said.
Dorothy McKinney, 92, died in 2017, from a staph infection after suffering from a severe bed sore.
A former Mayfield employee, who doesn’t want to be identified, says she is not surprised that someone died as a result of a bedsore
“I’ve seen where residents are going without being turned. They are going without having baths, without having showers,” that former worker said.
She said it was caused by a severe staffing shortage.
“Sometimes the nurse has 40 residents … up to 70 residents,” she added. “The residents cannot get proper care.”
CBS 2 reported on another case of alleged neglect in January.
Quintina Bullock, 41, was recovering from a stroke at Mayfield when her family found her dead in bed. The cause of death was unknown. Mayfield staff moved Bullock’s body directly to a funeral home without providing any answers to them or CBS 2.
And now, once again, the staff at the nursing home would not let CBS 2 in or answer questions.
Attorney Christopher Cortese also wants answers involving former Mayfield resident Mary Walker’s neglect of care case.
“That’s the real question. How was the facility staffed? What was the staff actually doing?” Cortese said.
Walker died in 2017 after also developing a severe bedsore. A year after filing the lawsuit, Cortese still can’t get Walker’s care charts.
“The fact there isn’t a full, complete chart for a woman who was there for a long period of time is very concerning because how do we know she was getting the care she was supposed to?” he said.
According to court filings, Mayfield has been sued nearly 50 times for everything from neglect to personal injury to medical malpractice. Most of those cases ended with settlements.
The ex-employee believes failure to keep updated charts helps hide care issues.
“They don’t document most of the time,” one worker said.
The ex-employee submitted complaints to the Illinois Department of Professional Regulations, who bounced her to the Illinois Department of Public Health.
An IDPH spokesperson says Mayfield was cited for insufficient nursing staff in December and has been investigated for three complaints since – but cited for none.
The McKinneys say more needs to be done
“Mayfield needs to be either completely closed or restructured,” said Geraldine McKinney.
CBS 2 went to Mayfield in person and left at least five messages for comment.