The family of an elderly nursing home patient has filed a lawsuit in Cook County. The lawsuit alleges that the woman died as a result of negligence on the part of the facility. The woman apparently left the facility on foot and walked into the snow-covered woods. The temperatures at the time were below freezing and snow was on the ground. The woman’s body was later discovered in the nearby wooded area. According to the suit, the woman was able to leave undetected through an unlocked door at the Manteno facility. Neglect in nursing homes and care facilities is a growing problem.
Neglect in Nursing Homes
Neglect is a form of abuse. Elder abuse and neglect may consist of a variety of things including physical and emotional abuse and financial exploitation. Workers in nursing homes must assist patients with all their needs and keep an eye on them to ensure their safety. Signs of neglect may include frequent falls, bruises, bedsores, and a change in personality. If you notice any of these signs you need to further investigate to determine the cause of the problem. The safety of your loved one is of utmost importance.
Elderly Patients Require Special Care
Older patients need special care while in a nursing home. Many patients are compromised either physically or mentally and therefore need more care than others. Unfortunately, many care facilities are ill-equipped to handle the growing needs of the elderly residents. Poorly trained workers or low staffing can present problems for those in their care. In this case, the woman left the facility unnoticed even though she had a history of trying to leave unescorted. The lawsuit alleges that the facility should have provided full-time supervision because of the known potential for this occurrence.
Nursing Home Negligence
If your loved one is the victim of nursing home negligence you may not realize it immediately. Sometimes abuse or neglect can continue for a period of time without being reported. Many times this occurs because the resident has diminished mental and physical capabilities and is unable to tell anyone about the problem. Other times, the patient may feel threatened and is afraid to tell anyone. Negligence can be difficult to determine and often requires help from an experienced attorney.
Preventing Nursing Home Negligence
Nursing home negligence happens all too often. According to the NCEA (National Center on Elder Abuse) as many as 95% of the nursing home residents reported being neglected or having witnessed another person being neglected. This is an alarming statistic, particularly if you have a loved one who currently resides in a nursing home. Prevention of these injuries is possible. Facilities must hire the appropriate number of staff members to handle residents and the workers must be properly trained and experienced. The facility must also take special care to ensure the safety of their residents. This may include the installation of safety bars and other equipment. In this particular case, the facility did not have any electronic devices in place in case of emergency. This, and the fact that the woman was not properly supervised, led to her pain and suffering, and ultimately to her death.
If your loved one has been seriously injured or has died as a result of nursing home neglect, contact the experienced legal team at Levin & Perconti today.
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