Articles Posted in Wandering

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Go San Angelo Standard-Times is reporting that an assisted living facility has been cited in relation to a nursing home neglect incident where a resident froze to death outside the building. The 89-year-old resident wrongfully died of hypothermia. The nursing home failed to adequately supervise the resident, jeopardizing her safety. The woman was found outside, dead on the sidewalk in the early morning. Her body was covered in ice and she had a light jacket.

According to a staff member, the resident was supposedly in her room at 4 a.m. She told authorities that she “thought” she saw the resident in her bed. This particular resident had an assessment that stated she “wanders frequently and indiscriminately.” Wandering and elopement are serious issues in nursing homes that must be addressed and monitored. The nursing home report showed that this particular patient had eloped from the facility at least five times. While the facility did have an alarm system, staff members stated that it was common knowledge that the pager system wasn’t working. To read more about this case of elopement, please click the link.

The Chicago nursing home lawyers at Levin & Perconti have seen wandering and elopement in the past. In C.B. v American Baptist Homes of the Midwest, they helped the victim reach a $950,000 nursing home negligence lawsuit. This also involved a patient who wandered from the home and froze to death. This pattern of nursing home negligence was again seen in the case of C.T., special administrator of the estate of D.F. v. Manorcare Health Services, Inc. et al. In this specific case the nursing home lawyers helped secure a $825,000 for the death of resident.

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Wandering and elopement has become a great problem in nursing homes throughout the country. When patients are not properly monitored they can leave the securities of their facilities and find themselves without guidance in the outside community.

The Chicago nursing home lawyers at Levin & Perconti have filed many lawsuits on behalf of the victims of wandering and elopement and have won favorable verdicts. For example, our attorneys helped a victim obtain a $950,000 settlement against the American Baptist Homes of the Midwest. This case involved an 85-year-old woman with dementia who was allowed to wander outside and freeze to death. This same fact pattern occurred in a case against Manorcare Health Services. In that case, Levin & Perconti helped the family of a 75-year-old victim receive an $825,000 settlement. Once again, the victim was wandering in the bitter cold and died of hypothermia. Wandering unfortunately has become all too common in nursing homes.

A nursing home can take measures to minimize elopement exposure. The first way is to establish a written elopement risk-management plan. They can also establish written screening criteria for identifying residents who may become potential elopers. By keeping normal exit alarms and making sure that all stairwells are alarmed, most nursing homes can help reduce wandering. Finally, the staff should be quick to investigate any activated door alarms. Nursing home staff should be trained to closely monitor the whereabouts of all of their patients. To learn all the ways that nursing homes can diminish wandering and elopement please click the link.

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A resident who suffered from dementia wandered out of a nursing home and was found more than two hours later, roaming in the snow and ice and subfreezing weather. The 68-year-old woman was rescued by members of the sheriff’s department. She uses a walker get around and was found behind the nursing home wearing just a golf shirt, pants and shoes. After being found wandering the victim was treated for exposure to the cold. The victim had to climb down three flights of stairs with his walker to escape the building. The victim is the second resident to wander away from the nursing home since it opened in October. The nursing home needs to address how a patient using a walker could have escaped so easily. Also all nursing homes need to ensure that wandering does not occur at their facilities. To read more about the wandering patient, please click the link.

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A former nursing assistant apologized for allowing 89-year-old Sarah Wentworth to freeze to death last winter after she wandered out of her Itasca, Illinois nursing home. The nursing assistant never checked a door alarm that sounded at two in the morning when the elderly woman left the Arbor of Itasca nursing home during zero degree temperatures. The woman offered an apology after pleading guilty to criminal neglect an obstruction of justice in the victim’s death, which an autopsy concluded was caused by hypothermia. The woman was given credit for the six months in jail that she served since her arrest and was placed on probation for 30 months. The nursing home negligence plea brought little comfort to the victim’s family, who said the penalty wasn’t severe enough given the agonizing death of their loved one. The victim had Alzheimer’s and a propensity for wandering. After she triggered the alarm the employee did not check the door as required, but simply turned off the alarm and continued watching “Dog: The Bounty Hunter.” An investigation showed that the employees at the nursing home tried to hide how the victim died by returning her to her room and changing her clothes, although no other workers were charged in her death. The woman’s family has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the nursing home. To read more about the nursing home abuse, please click the link.

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Three women came to the DuPage, Illinois County courthouse looking for justice for the wrongful death of their mother, who died last winter in an Itasca nursing home courtyard after she wandered outside in the cold. However, they left disappointed do to the inability of the nursing home employee to plea because of an ongoing trial. The anticipated plea deal calls for the employee to be sentenced to six months’ probation and six months in jail for felony elderly neglect and obstructing justice. The employee is accused of failing to check in on 89-year-old “Sally” Wentworth after an alarm alerted staff at The Arbor of Itasca that an outside door had opened. The employee turned of the alarm and went back to watching episodes of “Dog the Bounty Hunter.” The woman is also charged with lying to police and saying that she saw Wentworth in her bed. The daughters believe that the supervisors of the employee should also be held accountable with the nursing home abuse. The women ended up frozen to death still in her hospital gown. The family has also filed civil wrongful-death suit against The Arbor. To read more about the failed nursing home plea, please click the link.

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The family of an 87 year-old woman who was struck and killed in a car accident plans to file a nursing home neglect lawsuit. The family alleges that the nursing home was negligent when their 87 year-old mother, who was in the beginning stages of dementia and had a history of running away, escaped from the nursing home. She was struck by a vehicle in a hit-and-run later that evening.

To read more about the nursing home neglect lawsuit.

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A court has ordered the inspection of an Illinois nursing home that allowed a resident to wander out into the cold and die in January. The inspection comes in connection with the wrongful death lawsuit that has been filed on behalf of 89-year-old Sarah Wentworth. Relatives are alleging elderly neglect and abuse against the nursing home that the woman had lived for almost three years. While prosecutors continue their investigation into the Itasca, Illinois nursing home, the woman’s family is conducting their own investigation. It appears that after the woman froze to death, nursing home employees tried to hide the real circumstances surrounding her death. Nursing home workers had told authorities that the 89-year-old woman, who suffered from Alzheimer’s disease, wandered outside on her own. However, the woman’s family is questioning how an elderly woman who used a walker, ended up without outside without help. Additionally, there is evidence that a 23-year-old female worker watching television ignored the security alarm triggered by the woman’s electronic ankle bracelet. This Illinois elderly abuse case highlights the importance of ensuring that nursing home residents are not able to wander. It is the duty of the nursing home staff to ensure that all residents are properly accounted for. To read more about the wandering death, click here.

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89-year old Sara Wentworth of the Chicago suburb of Itasca was found frozen to death after wandering from her bed at a nursing home on February 5. Sara was found in the nursing home’s courtyard. Sara’s daughter noted that police informed her that her mother wandered through two doors before entering into the nursing home’s courtyard. Nursing home staff did not realize that Sara was missing until they performed a routine bed check. Every year, hundreds of nursing home residents suffer serious injury or death as a result of wandering.

Levin & Perconti have handled a number of cases where their victims have wandered from nursing homes. In two similar cases in which the victims were found frozen to death, Levin & Perconti received a $950,000 settlement for C.B. v. American Baptist Homes of the Midwest and a settlement of $825,000 for T. for F. v. Manor Care at Oak Lawn.

To read Sara Wentworth’s full story of nursing home neglect please click on the link.