March 1, 2012

Levin & Perconti Client’s Story Discussed in Investigation of Humboldt Park Nursing Home

by Levin & Perconti

Chicago is a very neighborhood-centric city. That is why it is probably not surprising that many area nursing homes follow the same trends, with close identification with the specific neighborhood in which they are found. Our Chicago nursing home attorneys realize that when those particular homes have chronic problem, an entire community of seniors and their families can face unnecessary hardship. For example, the Center Home for Hispanic Elderly is located in Humboldt Park—as the name implies and neighborhood demographic suggests—many Latino seniors use the facility for their long-term care needs. Unfortunately, according to a story this week in the Chicago Tribune, several investigations are now underway after widespread reports of mistreatment, negligence, and basic caregiving duties not being met at the facility.

For one thing, most community members would assume that the facility would ensure that they have an adequate stock of necessary items, like adult diapers, soap, gloves, and similar supplies. But as the Tribune points out, at the poorest performing facilities, including this one, that is not the case. Our Chicago nursing home neglect attorneys represent the daughter of a former resident at the facility who died while living at the home, Mary Beltran. Ms. Beltran explained to the Tribune that she often purchased supplies on her own and brought them to the facility because they always seemed to run out. Yet, even bringing diapers, soap, and other supplies into the home wasn’t enough, because on many occasions she still found her mother soiled during visits.

As the article notes, Ms. Beltran became growingly concerned during her visits. Our firm is now investigating whether nursing home neglect contributed to her mother's decline. It is particularly tragic when otherwise healthy elderly community members experience rapid decline upon entering one of these homes. These sorts of situations demand proper analysis and accountability so that those involved are held responsible. As Ms. Beltran explained to the Tribune, “To find her in this condition, to find out she had been this way for two days and I hadn’t been contacted, to be the one to insist that we had to get her to the hospital, it’s just upsetting.”

Beyond being upsetting, these sorts of situations violate the civil law, which demands that nursing homes provider residents with a reasonable level of care. Each Chicago nursing home lawyer at our firm is proud to represent families in similar situations. Unfortunately, the need for accountability in care at these facilities is likely only going to increase. Amazingly, even though laws in the state are mandating higher staffing levels and daily hours of nursing care, the overall level of self-reported registered-nursing care has dropped by more than 70% over the past six months at some homes—like this one in Humboldt Park. This cannot be tolerated. Changes must be demanded.

In a related report, the Tribune looked at how all three of Illinois' majority Latino nursing homes were rated by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid's Nursing Home Compare website:

Woodbridge Nursing Pavilion Chicago, one out of five stars

Center Home for Hispanic Elderly Chicago, one out of five stars

Saints Mary and Elizabeth Medical Center Chicago, three out of five stars

Our firm has investigated and successfully represented families in cases against facilities with a majority of Latino residents, including a $532,000 settlement against Woodbridge Pavilion in a nursing home fall case.

See Our Related Blog Posts:

Winchester House Pays $1 Million to Levin & Perconti Client

Lake County Pays Levin & Perconti Client $1 Million in Negligence Case