The entire nation watched with horror as Hurricane Sandy ravaged the East Coast. Now, as residents return to their homes and survey the damage, we hear stories from survivors. Many of these stories are heartbreaking.
Some of the most heartbreaking stories are those concerning elderly residents. Some elderly people holed up in their homes, too scared or sick or disabled to leave. Other elderly victims trusted their caregivers to take care of them. These elderly victims lived in nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and rehabilitation facilities. Now, stories are being told about how systems broke down, leading to devastating consequences.
Some nursing home residents went without power.
Nursing homes should have backup generators to provide power during emergencies, but these generators are only useful if they work. Generators kept on the ground floor were rendered useless by the rising waters.
Elderly people were left in the dark, shivering and cold.
Some nursing home residents went without food.
Other nursing homes failed to stock enough food for the residents and the staff members who were staying with them. These homes failed to keep enough bottled water for their residents and staff.
Elderly people were left hungry and thirsty.
Some nursing home residents were evacuated to emergency shelters—even though proper procedures were not followed.
In some cases, elderly residents of nursing homes were evacuated to emergency shelters. Some of these residents were transported alone, without a staff member. Others were sent without their medical records. Some were sent with incomplete medical records or with medical records that contained outdated information. Obviously, an elderly adult who suffers dementia or a related condition cannot adequately explain her medical conditions or even recognize her need for certain medications.
Some elderly patients were taken to temporary shelters set up in high schools and other facilities that lacked the proper equipment needed to adequately care for the patients. Many did not have the medications they needed.
The evacuation process was often chaotic and filled with trauma. For elderly patients, this stressful situation caused serious angst on top of the anxiety these residents were already experiencing.
Nursing homes violated their duties to their residents when they failed to prepare for the storm.
We all knew the storm was coming; we watched the news reports. Nursing home facilities should have taken steps to prepare for the storm, such as stocking up on medications and flashlights and preparing patients’ medical records so they would be available if the patients had to be evacuated.
Was your family member treated poorly during the storm? Contact our Chicago personal injury attorneys.
Nursing homes and similar facilities routinely breach their care obligations to patients. If your family member was injured by a nursing home’s neglect, contact the Chicago personal injury attorneys at Ankin Law Office LLC. We will visit with you about your situation and let you know if we believe you have a valid claim. You may contact our attorneys by telephone at (312) 600-0000 or by email.