Articles Posted in Alden Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect

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Over the past 14 years, Alden Village North has repeatedly been in the news in regards to continued allegations of abuse and neglect to the children and young adults that reside at their facility.

Once the abuse and neglect of the residents of Alden Village North was brought to the attention of the state, Illinois lawmakers stepped in to try and rectify this problem, not only in Alden Village, but in facilities across the state. Several safeguards, including stiffer fines for poor care and fewer roadblocks to close non-compliant facilities have been enacted. To address Alden Village specifically, Governor Pat Quinn placed a state monitor in Alden Village and the federally backed company Equip for Equality began an investigation into the suspicious deaths of the residents.

In the Chicago Tribune’s recent follow-up article, it was discovered that regardless of any changes that were made, the facility has been cited for five more deaths that occurred between 2009 and 2013, all being subsequently reduced or the penalties dropped. There have also been at least 11 additional residents that have died since 2008; however no citations were given as a result of those deaths.
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Over the past 14 years, Alden Village North has repeatedly been in the news in regards to continued allegations of abuse and neglect to the children and young adults that reside at their facility. After a 2010 investigation, a Chicago Tribune article first brought the severe dismay of the facility to the attention of the public and the state vowed to have the facility shut down, but failed to do so due to a legal technicality. Since then, improvements have been made, but many argue that it is simply not enough. Twenty disability advocate groups joined together this past Monday to continue their fight to have the facility shut down for good.

Facility History

Alden Village North is a facility located in Rogers Park that cares for children and young adults with severe physical and mental disabilities. The facility houses about 90 children and adults at a time with a wide range of medical problems. Over the years, Alden Village has had several owners and several name changes, but was recently acquired in 2008 by the Alden Nursing Home chain.
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The saga involving negligent Illinois nursing home Alden Village North appeared to be drawing to an end as the state moved to close the facility earlier this year. Blog readers will be well aware of the continued, drawn-out, tragic examples of abuse and neglect at the home.
Alden Village North made many headlines in the last few months for negligent care leading to the deaths of several of its young disabled residents. 14 children have died at the facility under questionable circumstances at the facility over the last 10 years.

Many of the facilities’ problems stem from its drive for profits, leading to staffing shortages and loose internal regulations. For example, two 4-year olds died in a three week period after suffering breathing problems. Alden Village staff members were supposed to have heard the nursing alert sounds that were activated throughout the facility to warn of the breathing problem, but they didn’t hear anything. Some of the alarms were incorrectly installed; other had the volume turned down so low that they were virtually worthless.

Now the Chicago Tribune is reporting that a federal watchdog group has identified at least five more deaths at the facility likely attributable to poor nursing home care by staff members. The independent inquiry uncovered more examples of improper treatment of residents, doctor carelessness, ignorance of lab results, and inadequate internal investigations.

The watchdog group which authored the latest report explained, “What we’re seeing here is a culture within a nursing home that tolerated lackadaisical, substandard care for years.”
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Many Illinois nursing homes have been deemed in need of quality improvement by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). These poor nursing homes are part of a program aimed at improving the care provided to vulnerable residents-a project known as the Special Focus Facility Initiative. The list of delinquent facilities was compiled following CMS inspections indentifying poor care and safety hazards at various locations.

The inspections revealed that there were certain nursing homes that were clearly providing extremely substandard care-these homes had more problems that were more serious and had persisted for a longer period of time than at other locations. The improvement program was targeted at these egregious displays of inadequate nursing home care.

Be sure to check out the CMS website to learn more details about the creation of the program and the specific components of its operation.

Recently, the SFF initiative released a list that identified the improvement-or lack thereof-of the facilities participating in this program. Most usefully, the list classifies nursing homes into a variety of categories-improving, not improving, and those no longer participating.

Unfortunately, several Illinois nursing homes made the cut for those deemed to have not improved following efforts to minimize their care deficiencies. These include the Alden Wentworth Rehab and Healthcare Center in Chicago, Embassy Healthcare Center in Wilmington, Rockford Nursing and Rehab Center, and the Virgil Calvert Nursing & Rehab Center in East St. Louis.
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The Chicago Tribune reported yesterday on yet another death of a disabled young child that led to a citation for a troubled Chicago nursing home.

Alden Village North has made many headlines in the last few months for negligent care leading to the deaths of several of its young residents. 14 children have died at the facility under questionable circumstances at the facility over the last 10 years.

This latest news will raise that number even higher. According to reports the facility staff was aware that test results showed a serious infection in a 14-month old resident. However, the staff failed to act quickly, instead allowing the girl to languish at the home for two days without care. When the girl’s doctor was finally called she was rushed to the hospital. Within hours she had died.

Many of the facilities’ problems stem from its drive for profits, leading to staffing shortages and loose internal regulations. For example, two 4-year olds died in a three week period after suffering breathing problems. Alden Village staff members were supposed to have heard the nursing alert sounds that were activated throughout the facility to warn of the breathing problem, but they didn’t hear anything. Some of the alarms were incorrectly installed; other had the volume turned down so low that they were virtually worthless.
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This blog has covered past accounts of negligent care in Alden Village nursing homes, with several victims’ stories highlighted by the Chicago Tribune in the paper’s investigative report, “Deadly Neglect.” The report found over a dozen deaths in the last several years at Alden Village North, a nursing home in Chicago. In its latest coverage, the paper reveals that while most observers probably assume that the facility faced stiff penalties for its inadequate, deadly care. Unfortunately that is not the case.

The more recent Chicago Tribune story explains that many Illinois facilities cited for poor care have been able to avoid paying large fines for their conduct. For example, Alden Village North has not paid the full amount for even a single citation because of children deaths. In total it only paid around 21% of the total fine levied by the state. It seems that the owners have been able to use loopholes and deal-making to avoid paying the amount ordered for their deadly actions. The article also reports that Alden Village in Bloomingdale paid only $10,000 in the wrongful death of a twelve year old resident.

It should be no surprise that the owner of Alden Village North and the Alden Village Health Facility has contributed a staggering $900,000 to different political campaigns over the last several years, according to the Tribune. No doubt the administrator is interested in keeping a close eye on all possible legislation that would affect his ability to make a profit by running these nursing homes.
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This blog has been filled with many reports on the shocking treatment of residents at the Alden Village North nursing home. The facility houses around 90 disabled children (and some adults) who suffer from severe mental and physical disabilities. The home has been the subject of recent investigations for mismanagement and improper treatment. In particular, a high number of children have died in recent years at the location from questionable practices by staff members.

An investigation by the Chicago Tribune uncovered a 10-year pattern of care violations, injury, and death. Since 2000, 13 children have died at the facility in ways that the state confirmed involved care citations (seven of those occurring in the last two years alone). Those figures also do not take into account at least 11 other resident deaths that did not trigger state intervention.

After years of problems, the facility is finally making changes that all observers hope will lead to better care for the children living at the home. A complete overhaul is obviously necessary to begin fixing the egregious problems. One advocate explained, “This is sort of what you would do in a situation when things aren’t just problematic, but problematic down to the core.”

Administrators at the facility claim that they have worked to correct past problems. Those changes involve hiring more staff members while creating a new liaison position to handle complaints. The group is also attempting to improve basic hygiene, as children had previously been sent to school in soiled clothes.
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The tragic events at the Alden Village North nursing home in Chicago have made headlines beyond the city. Now a federal probe will begin to more fully understand the causes of the problems at the children’s nursing home according to a recent story by the Chicago Tribune.

Recent investigations revealed a shocking pattern of abuse and neglect at the facility that houses children with disabilities. Several children at the home have died in recent years, and many of those deaths were never thoroughly investigated. Since 2000, thirteen children have died in cases resulting in state citations for either neglect or failure to investigate.

A local advocacy group, Equip for Equality has authority to obtain medical records from the facility. The group intends to do use that power to determine how often neglect was at the root of many of the recent deaths.

At the same time, the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services has decided to remove two residents from the facility over concerns about the facility’s ability to provide the proper care. Only very rarely has the state department taken this sort of step. Governor Pat Quinn has already placed a state monitor in the facility and is seeking specific legislative reform related to the care of these children.
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Nursing home abuse almost always conjures images of senior citizens suffering at the hands ineffective and dangerous staff members or fellow residents. However, in reality, abuse at these facilities occurs in many forms and includes many types of victims, even children. In particular, many children with developmental disabilities currently live in nursing homes, and they often fall victim to deadly inadequate care.

One of the most tragic cases of abuse of children at these facilities occurred in Chicago at Alden Village North. As Lawyers and Settlements reports, over that last 10 years, 13 children have died at the nursing home.

Many of the facilities’ problems stem from its drive for profits, leading to staffing shortages and loose internal regulations. For example, two 4-year olds died in a three week period after suffering breathing problems. Alden Village staff members were supposed to have heard the nursing alert sounds that were activated throughout the facility to warn of the breathing problem, but they didn’t anything. Some of the alarms were incorrectly installed; other had the volume turned down so low that they were virtually worthless.

The Illinois Department of Health has issued over $190,000 in fines against the facility over the years, but the nursing home has only paid about $21,000 of those fines. In addition, currently regulations do not even require the facility to investigate the deaths of children at its homes. Clearly the current public law and regulatory agency rules are insufficient to fix the problems at Alden-private actions against these negligent facilities are required.
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It seems that all too often we hear of tragic incidents occurring at Nursing Homes. Today, the Chicago Tribune published an article regarding Alden Village North noting that over the past ten years, Alden has been cited thirteen times for violations in connection to the deaths of its patients.

It is unreasonable to believe that any facility can be perfect in their care, but the types of nursing home neglect that Alden has shown is, in our opinion, inexcusable. The law firm of Levin & Perconti has handled a significant number of cases against Alden for their negligent treatment and care of patients. When negligence occurs, it is important for a facility to investigate the source and correct any problems to mitigate these types of incidents. Alden has been neglecting this part of their duty.

A one-year-old Alden Village North resident who suffered from severe Down syndrome was found in his room “unresponsive and blue” about forty-five minutes after having been fed. There was no one in the room when the child died, and as such Alden was responsible to investigate the cause of the child’s death. In a state investigation, it was found that there was no evidence that the facility reviewed whether proper supervision was provided. The facility was also cited for being understaffed and for not reporting his death to the state health department.