Nursing homes are supposed to be safe havens for our elderly parents or relatives, yet sometimes that just isn’t the case. The daughter of a woman who died in a nursing home has filed a lawsuit in Cook County alleging negligence. The woman was a resident of Belmont Village Glenview, residing in the unit designated for dementia patients. She was observed having a choking problem after eating and taking her medication, however, the staff noted that she was no longer choking. Later, it was noted that she was still coughing. After two more hours, she was found at a table where she was breathing fast, coughing, and had a runny nose.
In this case, the lawsuit alleges that the nursing home staff was negligent by failing to take proper care of the woman while she was choking. The woman was eventually transported to the hospital where she died four days later. Had the staff acted immediately when she was choking, they could have provided prompt medical treatment which likely would have saved her life. Elderly people such as those in nursing homes are more apt to suffer severe injuries as a result of delayed treatment. In this instance, the woman had dementia and was probably unable to let staff know about her choking problem. It is up to the staff in cases such as this one to properly monitor and supervise people in their care.
Choking is a Common Problem
While eating and swallowing may seem like an easy activity for most people, for some elderly patients it is not quite so simple. Swallowing disorders are much more common than many people realize. Some medications can make swallowing more difficult. Reduced saliva is also a factor that can make it harder for people to swallow. Dentures and teeth or mouth pain may also cause difficulty swallowing. If an elderly person begins to choke they may not have the strength to cough up the lodged piece of food. When a problem is noted, as it was in this case, the staff needs to be even more vigilant when providing food or drink. Apparently sufficient supervision was not provided in this instance and it resulted in the woman’s death.
Nursing Home Neglect
Nursing homes are required to provide proper care to residents. The Illinois Nursing Home Care Act provides guidelines for nursing home care to ensure that patients are treated fairly, properly, and with respect. The lawsuit in this case alleges that the nursing home violated the Nursing Home Care Act and is responsible for the woman’s death. The lawsuit is seeking damages of more than $50,000 and is requesting a jury trial. In situations such as this one, the nursing home may have been understaffed or the staff may not be properly trained. Whatever the reason, the nursing home has the obligation to provide the best care possible and to take action when a medical problem is noticed.
If your loved one suffered harm or died due to nursing home neglect you may be entitled to compensation. Money may be owed for medical expenses, pain and suffering, and legal fees. Contact the experienced legal team at Levin & Perconti to discuss your case today.