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.
The stories of children killed at Alden Village North grab most of the headlines, but extreme neglect and suffering of children still living at these facilities and others like it often continue unabated. All too often children with illnesses are ignored and left alone. Our Chicago nursing home attorneys at Levin & Perconti are sickened by the treatment to which most vulnerable members of our society-disabled children-are subjected. Under no circumstances should the need to maximize profit allow these kids to suffer at understaffed, inadequate, dangerous facilities. There is a moral obligation to raise those standards and hold the abusive facilities accountable for their behavior. Please contact a nursing home lawyer to report unacceptable treatment at a facility near you.
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