Articles Posted in Chicago Nursing Home Neglect

A 79 year old woman is missing and a Chicago nursing home may have to answer some tough questions. The Chicago Sun-Times is reporting that a resident who may suffer from a form of dementia went missing on Friday evening from a home located at 2840 W. Foster Ave.

Nursing home staff witnessed her leave with a white man, ages 60-70, who she said was her brother. The nursing home later learned she does not have a brother.

The missing woman is being described as Caucasian, 129 lbs., 4′ 9″ tall, brown hair and light complexion. Anyone with information regarding her whereabouts should immediately contact the Chicago Police Department at 312-744-8200 and speak with Belmont area detectives.

Our Chicago nursing home neglect lawyers share the concern of the community about the recent neglect and abuse allegations involving homes that care for disabled children.

Of particular note in this area is the Alden Village North facility, where problems, including an alarming number of deaths involving young children, have persisted for decades, according to an investigation by the Chicago Tribune.

On one level, the challenges should come as no surprise after the recent investigations into poor care and the presence of wanted felons and mentally ill patients in the adult nursing home system. Yet is was still disheartening to read that the state’s oversight is in such shambles that it cannot even judge the true scope of the problem at Alden or the state’s 300 other facilities that care for people with developmental disability.

At Aiden, 13 children and young adults have died since 2000 in cases cited by the state as involving neglect or other violations.

In one case, a 4-year-old boy died after employees failed to respond to an alarm on his monitor. Less than a month later, a 4-year-old girl died the same way.

A state investigation found the volume had been turned so low the alarms could not be heard. The Tribune reported that such problems have persisted for decades at the facility, despite changes in ownership and the knowledge of investigators and state officials.

Even basic hygiene has been neglected.

Parents of five of the children who died in the facility did not even know the facility had been cited for their deaths until told by newspaper investigators. The home has been fined $190,000 in the last decade but has paid just $21,450.
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The family of the 74-year-old woman has filed an Illinois nursing home abuse lawsuit against a Hinsdale facility alleging that over medicating and negligence caused her death, according to the Chicago Tribune. The action filed last week alleges the nursing home resident died of kidney failure due to dehydration because the nursing facility chemically restrained her.

The woman was admitted to ManorCare’s Arcadia dementia unit in March of 2009. Within 48 hours of arrival she was prescribed a sedative and a few days later she was prescribed and anti-psychotic medication. Court documents allege that the victim lost over 16 pounds in her first 12 days of the facility.

The woman was finally transferred from ManorCare to Adventist Hinsdale Hospital in April 2009 and died a few hours after admission. She died less than a month after arriving at the nursing home.

Also, it is alleged that the nursing home abuse victim was given medication that wasn’t necessary to treat her condition she was physically restrained with a wheelchair lap restraint. The family is seeking an amount in excess of $50,000 in the seven count lawsuit.
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Chicago nursing home neglect allegations could result in a loss of federal funding for a Will County nursing home, the Tribune reported.

The 150-bed Embassy Health Care Center in Wilmington has been charged with providing unacceptable levels of care to residents. Neglect allegations include failure to prevent pressure sores and building maintenance issues. An attorney for the facility claims it has taken corrective action and is waiting for approval from regulators.

The state is not currently seeking to close the home, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health. However it could lose federal funding if the problems are not fixed by Aug. 26, according to the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Pressure sores, or bed sores as they are more commonly known, are a warning sign of possible neglect in an Illinois nursing home or elder care facility. The sores are caused by unrelieved pressure, most frequently as a result of an immobile or minimally mobile patient not being moved frequently enough. The most common preventive treatment is movement of a patient every two hours.

Untreated pressure sores are often prone to infection and can be fatal.

The National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel recognizes four stages of ulcers in the United States:

Stage 1: Superficial redness that does not dissipate when pressure is relieved.

Stage 2: Ulcers may appear as a blister or an abrasion; damage does not extend behind the dermis.

Stage 3: Ulcer involves the full thickness of the skin and may include subcutaneous tissue. Wounds are much tougher to heal at this stage and damage beneath the skin may be greater than what is visible.

Stage 4: The worst form of bed sores, the damage can extend into tendons, muscles and even bones. Only about 60 percent of these sores ever heal.

Relieving pressure is critical to helping to ensure that a pressure sore does not become more severe. Nursing homes and hospitals understand the need for proper care of bed-ridden patients and pressure sores are often a sign of neglect.

Infections and complications, including sepsis and gangrene, can turn bed sores into a life threatening medical condition.
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Gov. Pat Quinn has signed the long-awaited overhaul of the Illinois nursing home system. The signing took place on Thursday in a room packed with top state officials and senior citizens, the Chicago Tribune reported.

Our Chicago nursing home neglect and abuse lawyers have been reporting for more than a year on the state crisis in nursing home care. Chronic short staffing, poorly operated facilities and the presence of violent and mentally ill patients have left the state’s residents at high risk of substandard care, neglect and abuse.”This is historic legislation. It begins a new era of nursing home care in Illinois,” Quinn said at the Thompson Center signing.

The state is in the process of hiring dozens of additional inspectors as well as writing rules to increase nursing home staffing levels. One of the primary challenges will be to fund the new law’s many provisions as the state faces a $13 billion budget deficit.

A series of articles in the Tribune exposed assaults, rapes and murders occurring inside facilities that house younger psychiatric patients and convicted felons alongside elderly residents.

The new law will increase background checks and psychological screenings of new residents and place dangerous patients in separate wards. The program also seeks to divert thousands of mentally disabled people into smaller, residential programs.

The state currently has 146 nursing home inspectors. The new law will add an additional 71 inspectors by next July to reach the mandated ratio of one inspector for every 500 beds — or about one inspector for every 5 nursing homes. The new inspectors are expected to cost about $5 million a year.
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A 51-year-old mentally ill woman apparently drown in the bathtub of a Chicago nursing home over the Fourth of July weekend, CBS2 reported.

Police are conducting a death investigation after the woman was found Sunday in a bathtub at Warren Park Nursing Pavilion. The Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office has ruled that the woman died from drowning but has not determined whether her death was a homicide, suicide or accident. Authorities were called to the home by staff after the woman was found in the bathtub with the water running.

Our Chicago nursing home neglect lawyers have reported a number of fatal accidents involving patients who have died from falls or other causes due to lack of proper supervision in an area nursing home. Residents of nursing homes obviously have special needs that family or loved ones did not feel qualified to provide. Proper care and supervision of elderly residents, or those suffering from Alzheimer’s, dementia or mental illness, is essential to ensuring the well-being of nursing home residents. When a resident is injured or dies as a result of inadequate supervision, a Chicago injury lawyer should be contacted to discuss a patient’s rights and help ensure corrective action is taken to help protect other residents at a home.

Police were called to the home about 8:40 p.m. and attempted to revive the woman while awaiting the arrival of paramedics, the Breaking News Center reported. She was transported to Saint Francis Hospital, where she was pronounced dead at 9:20 p.m.
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Allegations of Chicago nursing home neglect at a facility part owned by an Illinois state senator could lead to the loss of the facility’s license, the Chicago Tribune reported.

State health authorities have moved to revoke the license of Evergreen Health Care Center in Evergreen Park, alleging serious patient neglect in the southwest suburban nursing home co-owned by state Sen. Heather Steans. The Tribune reports that the lawmaker has no operating role at the facility. The Chicago Democrat said she has drawn little or no income from the home, saying she owned a small stake in companies responsible for its management.

An Illinois Department of Health spokesperson said the facility was sent a revocation notice on Friday. Under state rules, the facility can voluntarily surrender its license or contest the action by requesting a hearing before an administrative law judge.

The Evergreen facility was recently added to a federal list of the nation’s most troubled nursing homes. Authorities allege that inspections have found numerous safety violations. Steans said the infractions were “incredibly troubling” but contends the facility has taken corrective action.

The Tribune notes the awkward political position the lawmaker now finds herself in, having worked on comprehensive reform legislation aimed at improving safety and care standards at nursing homes throughout the state. As our Chicago nursing home neglect and abuse lawyers recently reported, the Illinois nursing home reform measure was unanimously passed by lawmakers and now awaits the governor’s signature.

On her financial disclosure statements, she declared membership interests in two firms that collected $2 million in management and lease fees from Evergreen last year. She said none of that money was paid to owners.

Allegations against Evergreen include failure by staff to notify a doctor of the deteriorating health of a 90-year-old resident suffering from pneumonia and failure to prevent maggots from infecting the scalp of an 86-year-old cancer victim.

The state health department reports that other revocation actions are currently pending against nursing homes in the Chicago area:

-Columbus Manor Residential Care Home
-Rainbow Beach Care Center
-Regal Health and Rehabilitation Center
-Fox River Pavilion in Aurora.

Somerset Place in Uptown was shut down in March after receiving a similar order.

Another nursing home, South Shore Nursing & Rehabilitation center, was recently added to the federal watch list, in part as a result of failure to properly supervise residents.
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