A 14-year-old girl literally starved to death in her own Ohio home. The County Coroner ruled the death a homicide due to neglect, and consequently charges have been filed against her mother and three nurses who were tasked with the victim’s care.
The girl suffered from cerebral palsy, and was unable to walk or call for help. According to the Dayton Daily News, her only source of nutrition was a few cans of Ensure each day.
Her body was found with numerous bedsores and infections. She weighed only 28 pounds when she died. It’s unknown, at this time, exactly how much Medicaid money went to provide the care that caused her death, but I’m sure that information will be released eventually.
The companies who employed the nurses are the Exclusive Home Health Care and CareStar of Ohio. According to Ken Betz, director of the Regional Crime Laboratory and Coroner’s Office in the region “She was the worst malnourished child I think we’ve ever seen.”
The State of Illinois had best take a keen interest in the difficulties that other states have been experiencing with their own programs to expand home care at the expense of nursing homes.
Recently, a federal judge ordered a settlement that will allow thousands of Illinois citizens the right to home care rather than nursing home care.
An expansion of home care is a win for almost everyone involved. Seniors and disabled adults overwhelmingly want to reside in their own homes for as long as possible. The cost of home care is only a fraction of what a nursing home bed would cost.
There will be problems. Horrific incidents of abuse and fraud take place in nursing homes every day. The vast majority never get reported. These kinds of incidents will also take place in the home. Illinois needs to take every precaution to avoid making the same mistakes that other states have made.
Nursing home abuse and neglect is not limited to nursing homes and hospitals. If you have a loved one that you feel is being abused or mistreated by any health care professional, you can contact my law offices for a free evaluation of your case. Remember, we never charge a fee unless we take, and win, your case.
Barry G. Doyle is a personal injury lawyer in Chicago and the founder of the Law Offices of Barry G. Doyle, an Illinois nursing home abuse and neglect law firm dedicated to representing nursing home residents and their families.. If you or a loved one has been killed, injured or suffered neglect in a nursing home in Joliet, please order your free copy of A Family’s Guide to Nursing Home Lawsuits in Illinois. It’s full of helpful information that will help you protect your legal rights and is free to all Illinois residents.