Ozarks First recently reported on a tragic nursing home fall that took the life of an elderly resident earlier this month at the Springfield Skilled Care Center. The case is raising awareness in the community about the often poor eldercare many of these residents receive.
According to reports, the police received a call early in the morning about the death of a resident. Strangely the call informed the officers that the victim had not died inside the facility but outside. Upon arrival the responders discovered that the victim was an 81-year old Alzheimer’s patient that had attempted to climb out a window. Apparently the woman was in a secured unit, but was still able to make the attempt. She died from a broken neck resulting from the fall.
Sadly the facility had previously been cited by state officials for their failure to prevent falls, among a variety of other negligent care practices. But that negligent care was apparently never fully corrected.
The tragic death is similar to many other nursing home falls that occur across the area. Many residents at these facilities-such as patients with Alzheimer’s or dementia-are known fall risks and flight risks. Those risks are often the very reason why many individuals seek care at these facilities. Close and constant observation is the best way to prevent those injuries. However, if the care workers at the facility do not provide that close observation than damaging accidents often strike.
Our Chicago nursing home attorneys at Levin & Perconti have represented families in similar cases. In 2004, a 54-year old Illinois nursing home resident died after falling from a window that he was trying to exit at the Lee Manor Nursing Home. The resident was suffering from chronic paranoid schizophrenia, was severely blind, and required ongoing supervision. He was placed on a secure floor in order to ensure his safety. However, the facility negligently allowed the windows in the man’s room to open enough to allow his attempted escape and ultimate death.
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