When a Chicago family can no longer care for an elderly relative -- be it mom, dad, or other loved one -- the option of taking them to a nursing home is often considered. One of the major benefits of a nursing home is the fact that professionals care for that loved one because it is their job to do so. This often gives relatives peace of mind because it is a staff's main responsibility to make sure that residents are happy and healthy.
So when an incident of nursing home negligence occurs, it can be very disheartening to friends and family. The infirm individual was taken to the nursing home because relatives could no longer care for the person, because the professionals at the nursing home were supposed to be better at caring for such people.
Earlier this summer, a 67-year-old man living at a nursing home in Arizona was outside. He was wheelchair-bound and left outside with no observation for more than an hour. The temperature that day hit 102 degrees and because of his extended time in the heat, he was rushed to the hospital with hyperthermia when employees realized the situation.
Employees at the nursing home said that when residents are outside, staff is required to check on them in various intervals of five, 15 and 30 minutes. Regardless of the length of the standard, no employee checked on this 67-year-old man who, when taken to the hospital, was reported to have a core temperature of 107 degrees. Due to hyperthermia, the man passed away. An autopsy report confirmed this fact and added that the man's death was an accident.
The state has fined the nursing home $500, the maximum allowed by law. In addition to the fine, the nursing home has been named as the defendant in a wrongful death suit filed by the family of the deceased.
While Illinois may not be subject to the same type of climate as Arizona, it can still get hot, as this past summer and other summers have proven. Diligence in the care of frail and elderly is required.
Source: The Republic, "Tucson nursing home fined for leaving patient outside in 102-degree heat, leading to his death," The Associated Press, Sept. 5, 2012