By: A Staff Writer
An Illinois family is suing Manor Care for the nursing home death of an elderly resident who was at the nursing home for rehabilitation after she fractured her hip and was diagnosed with dementia. According to a news report in the Southwest News-Herald, the suit seeks $200,000 in damages and attorney’s fees.
The lawsuit alleges that the nursing home completely neglected to take care of 75-year-old Helen Edwards’ physical needs including cleaning and dressing her bed sores and infections. The complaint also says Edwards suffered “unrelieved pain associated with both her hip fracture and wounds.”
According to the report when Edwards’ daughter came to visit her at the nursing home, Edwards complained of severe discomfort. When her daughter took her mother to the hospital to see what was wrong, doctors told her Edwards suffered from pneumonia, dehydration, severe malnutrition and infection. Edwards had lost 13 pounds during her stay at the nursing home. She died shortly afterward from severe infection that could not be cured, the article stated.
The family learned that Edwards was not given nutritious food and was allowed to lie in her own waste for long periods. She was neither kept clean nor dry, which caused her sores and infections to worsen. According to the family’s attorney, there were 16 days when Edwards’ nurse did not even make notes by her bedside despite the woman’s serious and deteriorating condition.
The plaintiff’s attorney told the newspaper that it’s heartbreaking when families trust nursing homes to take care of their loved ones and are in turn deceived. The nursing home’s spokeswoman of course told reporters that they in fact provided Edwards with “good care.”
The plaintiff’s attorney is right. It is horrible for these families that entrust their loved ones to the care of these nursing homes that turn around and provide them with an abysmal quality of care. A lot of these nursing homes are short staffed. It’s a common business strategy to cut costs. As a result, they don’t have enough staff members to take care of residents, many of whom, like Edwards, require constant care.
If you are a victim of nursing home abuse, you should file a complaint with state officials and find a personal injury attorney, who will represent you and get you the compensation you deserve. Suing these unethical businesses may also be the only way to make them pay for their actions and deter other similar businesses from cutting corners and shortchanging their customers. To file a complaint, visit the California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform Web site.