Earlier this winter, a nursing home patient in Illinois wandered away from his facility without being noticed by the facility’s staff. The dementia patient died of hypothermia before authorities were able to find the missing patient. After investigating the incident, the Illinois Department of Public Health announced that the facility had committed several violations that contributed to the man’s escape and death.
Last month, another Illinois nursing home patient died after he was left alone with another patient who had a violent criminal history. The man was attacked and later died from his injuries resulting from thephysical assault.
The recent wrongful deaths of these two patients not only proves how dangerous it is when nursing home employees fail to properly monitor and supervise patients, but the deaths also suggest that our state’s nursing homes may need to re-evaluate staffing policies. Does each facility have enough staff on duty to provide each nursing home resident with the attention and care that they need and deserve?
The family of the nursing home patient who died after the physical assault has since filed a lawsuit against the facility in Cook County. The lawsuit claims that the facility violated state and federal regulations that are meant to protect nursing home residents. The lawsuit also claims that the facility was understaffed, which resulted in the lack of supervision of residents. The facility has also been accused of failing to properly address complaints of abuse at the nursing home.
On Feb. 12, the 80-year-old man was found unconscious by a nurse. The man was taken to a local hospital, but he died two days later. The Cook County medical examiner’s office concluded that the man had died from blunt head trauma from an assault. It was reported that the patient had been attacked by another patient at the facility when there were no employees nearby to supervise the patients.
Source: Chicago Sun-Times, “Family sues Oak Park nursing home after 80-year-old fatally beaten,” March 8, 2012