The Orlando Sentinel reports of a tragic incident at the Homewood Residence that underscores the danger of inadequate care provided to elderly residents at many medical facilities. In this case, a 93-year old resident suffering from dementia died at the assisted living facility from severe esophagus burns after ingesting poisonous sodium hydroxide solution from a nearby dishwasher. Staff at the facility failed to secure the kitchen area or provide proper oversight of the resident leading to the deadly outcome.
This is an unfortunate example of the cost of wandering, a common problem with nursing home negligence. Wandering occurs when a resident is permitted to move throughout a facility without supervision, resulting in safety risks whose danger the resident is unable to appreciate.
Even more distressing is that the Homewood Residence had been fined by the state only a year and a half earlier for having inadequate staffing that lead to ten resident becoming sick with norovirus. The Center for Disease Control notes that norovirus is one of the leading causes of gastrointestinal illness and results in diarrhea, abdominal pain, and vomiting. It is highly contagious and especially dangerous in crowded environments, like nursing homes.
The Homewood Residence’s failure to learn from its past elder abuse is an all too common trend among facilities that care for the elderly. Our Chicago nursing home attorneys at Levin & Perconti have experienced these repeated abuses first-hand. Time and again we have fought legal battles against Illinois facilities that continually provide negligent care to their residents.
It is for that reason that it is especially important for nursing home staff members to keep a close eye on all residents of these facilities to ensure that any injuries they suffer are not the result of inadequate staffing, inexperienced care, and other dangerous abuses. In Illinois, the Illinois Nursing Home Care Act requires these facilities to provide a very high level of care to those vulnerable residents who depend on them. Be sure to contact a nursing home lawyer if you have any suspicion that your loved one has not received the service to which he or she is entitled.