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New Illinois Nursing Home Lawsuit Filed Against Bridgeview Health Care

A new complaint was recently filed in the Cook County Circuit Court initiating a legal action alleging nursing home neglect. The lawsuit was filed by a former resident of the home who lived at the Bridgeview Health Care Center for nearly ten years, only leaving in May of last year. She is now in her late nineties. A complete copy of the complaint in the case can be found online here.

Accusations of Elder Neglect
According to the complaint, while living in the facility the woman suffered from Alzheimer’s disease. As readers know, residents with cognitive mental conditions are far more likely to face neglect than other seniors. That is because these individual usually are more dependent on caregivers for basic tasks, like walking, bathing, eating, dressing, and more. Like many other seniors with Alzheimer’s, the woman in this case was a known fall risk, and so caregivers were on notice that special steps needed to be taken to ensure that she was properly cared for and not hurt in a preventable accident. Similarly, like all individuals with mobility problems, the plaintiff was at risk of developing bed sores.

Sadly, the lawsuit alleges that the caregivers at Bridgeview failed in their duty to provide proper care to the elderly woman. The complaint lists many incidents and examples of mistreatment, including:

*Due to caregiver negligence, the complaint claims that the senior developed several urinary tract infections and other intestinal diseases during the final year of her stay at the facility.

*While sick in bed with pneumonia the caregivers at the home allegedly left a window open, allowing cold air to blow of the resident. She suffered significant pain and discomfort as a result.

*The senior developed pressure sores–a painful skin ulcer that can be prevented with proper turning and skin care. The development of these bed sores are one of the most common signs of mistreatment.

*As a result of sitting all day in a wheelchair without therapy or exercise the senior develop disuse atrophy in her legs. She lost the function of the limbs.

*The senior was allegedly attacked by the guest of another resident in the home. For some reason, caregivers failed to prevent the assault.

*The resident was unable to move from her bed to the restroom on her own–she required the help of caregivers. However, the caregivers allegedly would bring her to the bathroom and then leave her there, by herself, for an extended period of time.

The complaint includes several other allegations, including caregivers allowing the resident to fall from her bed, leaving medication lying on the floor, and even claims that employees stole personal property from the senior (jewelry and a television).

The laundry list of significant caregiving lapses is a reminder of the extent of problems that exist at some facilities. Residents at these homes often face mistreatment day after day; they are not just victims of single, isolated incidents. Helping residents break free from these daily struggles and acting as a spur to force change at the poorest homes are key goals of all nursing home neglect lawsuits.

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