Woman accused of death in Chicago-area nursing home neglect case to face fewer charges

A Bensenville nurse’s assistant will face far less time in prison after prosecutor’s dropped half the felony charges against her because of a legal technicality.

The 24-year-old woman is accused of improper care at an Itasca nursing home that led to a resident dying after wandering outside in the cold. She faces five years in prison — instead of the original 14– if convicted of the remaining elderly neglect and obstructing justice charges, according to an article in Daily Herald.

The Chicago nursing home abuse and neglect lawyers at Abels & Annes monitor such cases to better assist clients who seek to recover damages for nursing home neglect or abuse. The proper supervision of nursing home residents is critical to their well-being and one of the primary reasons loved-ones seek professional care for an aging parent or grandparent.

In this case, the accused nursing assistant has remained in jail since March 4. She is accused of failing to check on an 89-year-old resident after an alarm alerted staff that an outside door had opened at The Arbor nursing home in Itasca.

Four of the eight charges against her were dropped on Tuesday because of a legal technicality involving the legal wording of the state law regarding nursing homes.

Police say she turned off the alarm and went back to watching episodes of “Dog the Bounty Hunter,” according to the newspaper’s account. She also is accused of lying to police about finding the resident in her bed during a 3 a.m. well-being check.

The elderly resident, formerly of Chicago’s West Side, was wearing an electronic ankle bracelet because she suffered from dementia and was prone to wandering. Staff found per body in an outside courtyard in near-freezing temperatures.

Her daughters have filed a wrongful death suit.

The paper reported the nursing home fought moves by opposing attorneys to photograph and document the nurses’s station, television area, the resident’s room and the hallway leading outside.

An estimated 18 million nursing home beds are operated in this country — half by large chain corporations and two-thirds by for-profit companies. The government estimates almost half of those over 60 in 1990 will spend time in a nursing home.

If you are faced with placing a loved one in a nursing home, the State of Illinois offers a number of resources.

Click here for advice on finding an Illinois nursing home through the Illinois Department of Public Health.

And click here for reports of Illinois nursing homes with recent violations.

If you suspect the abuse or neglect or a resident in an Illinois nursing home, the personal injury and wrongful death lawyers at Abels & Annes offer free and confidential appointments to discuss your case. Call (866) 99 – ABELS. There is no fee unless you win.