A 67-year-old female nursing home resident suffering from dementia has been missing from her Bronzeville nursing home since Tuesday. She was last seen at the facility in the 400 block of E. 41st Street, near E. 41st St and Cottage Grove Avenue on Tuesday, October 23rd at 11 a.m.
The south side nursing home from which she disappeared has not been named.
The family is asking for the public’s help in locating Ernestine Booker. She is a black woman, 67 years old, 5 foot 3 inches tall, and approximately 150 pounds. Chicago Police say she was reported as last wearing a large red knit hat, a denim jacket, black pants and black shoes. Her photo can be seen here.
Anyone who believes they may have information to help locate Ms. Booker is asked to call the Chicago Police at 312-747-8380.
Safety Measures a Must in Nursing Homes
The act of leaving a nursing home unnoticed is called elopement. Those with dementia are considered particularly at risk for elopement due to a decreased ability to recognize danger.
All nursing homes should have safety measures in place that prevent residents from wandering throughout the facility as well as from eloping from the facility by leaving from a door or window. Some of these measures include alarmed exit and stairwell doors, outfitting at-risk residents with devices that notify staff when they’ve crossed the threshold of a restricted area, and maintaining adequate staffing levels that allow residents to be properly supervised at all times.
While the exact details of Ms. Booker’s elopement from the facility have not been shared with the public, her disappearance highlights the absolute need for nursing homes to establish and adhere to safety protocol that protects residents from elopement and wandering.
Levin & Perconti: Chicago’s Nursing Home Neglect Attorneys
The Chicago nursing home neglect attorneys of Levin & Perconti are one of the first firms in the country to specialize in elder abuse and neglect within nursing homes. Among the over half a billion dollars we’ve recovered for our clients are several large verdicts and settlements related to nursing home wandering and elopement. These include:
- $1 million jury verdict for the family of a 54-year-old nursing home resident who exited a window on the fifth floor of the nursing home and died from fall-related injuries. The jury found the nursing home to be negligent in failing to prevent the resident from exiting through the window.
- $950,000 settlement against a nursing home for allowing an 85-year-old woman with dementia to wander outside the nursing home, where she froze to death.
- $825,000 settlement for a 75-year-old nursing home resident with dementia and a history of wandering who died of hypothermia after exiting the facility in bitter cold temperatures resulting from the home’s failure to verify if his tracking bracelet was functioning, properly supervise him, and promptly notify the police.
- $475,000 settlement for the family of a 41-year-old man who fell to his death after exiting a fourth floor nursing home window. The victim was left unsupervised by staff despite the fact that he was a known suicide risk who suffered from paranoid schizophrenia and required round-the-clock care and supervision by facility staff.
If someone you love has suffered physical or mental injury or even death after being able to elope from or wander unnoticed within a nursing home, the Chicago nursing home neglect attorneys of Levin & Perconti can get answers and demand justice for you and your loved one. For a FREE consultation, please call 1-877-374-1417 or complete our online case evaluation form.