When the time comes for a senior to receive additional care, many local families work hard to see that the extra care is provided at home. The many examples of Chicago nursing home neglect documented on this blog as well as elsewhere sends a clear message to many that some of these facilities are to be avoided unless absolutely necessary. Fortunately, many services are now available that work to keep seniors in their own homes for as long as possible.
However, just as in the nursing home context there are an unfortunate number of stories of care workers who fail to provide the level of care to which the senior is entitled. Widespread suffering often results. For example, Maui News reported yesterday on criminal charges that have been filed against one registered nurse for providing services to one patient who died as a result of the neglect. According to reports the nurse was paid thousands of dollars to act as a caregiver to a man who had become immobile and unable to speak after suffering a stroke. The man lived in a community care foster family home. Regular case workers at these homes have certified nursing assistant licenses, and so registered nurses are required to be case managers to oversee the care.
However, in this latest case it seems that little to no oversight was provided. The nurse was supposed to conduct routine checks of the man to ensure his proper health. However, about a month since the last nurse visit the man was rushed to a local hospital. Once there at least 11 bedsores were discovered on his body, indicating severe neglect. It remains unclear what observation, if any, the overseeing nurse provided which failed to catch the sores. Many of the pressure sores were what is known as “Stage 4”-meaning most severe. These ulcers went right down to through the tendon to the bone. In addition, the victim had gangrene on one of his heels. He died three days after being admitted to the local hospital.
It is clear that if the nurse had performed even the most basic check he would have noticed the developing problems. Upon discovery of the neglect local district authorities filed criminal neglect charges against the supervising nurse as well as the assistants. The state essentially argued that the supervising nurse flat-out did nothing to provide the care which any reasonable nurse would in the circumstances. As a result he likely faces a severe fine and probation upon his guilty verdict.
Our Illinois nursing home neglect attorneys know that most cases of nursing home neglect and abusive service outside the home do not represent all care providers for seniors. Fortunately, there remain many employees in nursing homes and traveling medical assistants which offer close, caring services that often save the lives of vulnerable seniors. However, the unfortunate prevalence of mistreatment makes it vital for all those who are in a position to take stock of the care received by a senior to speak up whenever neglect is suspected. When friends, family members, and other observers are silent about possible mistreatment, then the senior may suffer. We urge all loved ones to diligently review the history of care when selecting a nursing home or at-home care provider so that you give your business to those workers who have shown a commitment to quality care void of nursing home neglect.
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