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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Resident With Dementia Dies After Wandering Away from Midwest Rehab in Belleville

The Belleville News Democrat is reporting that Illinois Department of Public Health investigators are looking into the death of 75-year old Aubrey Giles. Mr. Giles was a resident at Midwest Rehabilitation and Respiratory Care in Belleville, IL. Mr. Giles was a resident because he required nursing care and supervision due to suffering from dementia and heart disease.

Mr. Giles wandered away from the nursing home on Saturday and his body was found Monday morning in a creek approximately one block from the nursing home. According to the report, over 4 hours passed between the time he went missing and the nursing home reporting his absence from the home.

Incidents such as these are referred to as "elopement" and residents who suffer from dementia, such as Mr. Giles, are often referred to as "wanderers." These are specific terms used in the nursing community. Nursing homes have a duty to properly assess patients for risk of elopement. In addition, nursing homes have the duty to implement "interventions" such as increased levels of supervision, alarms, video cameras and secured doors to prevent situations such as this tragic one involving Mr. Giles from occurring.

The decision to place a loved one in a nursing home is often one of the most difficult decisions a family faces. The decision often turns on the belief that the nursing home will be able to provide superior levels of nursing care and supervision than the family can provide. Unfortunately, when the nursing homes do not provide superior levels of nursing care and supervision, tragic events like this one take place.

The Illinois Nursing Home Care Act provides that if a resident of a nursing home is injured or killed as a result of the negligence of the nursing home, then the nursing home is responsible for the damages suffered by the resident or their family. If you have any questions regarding this post or an issue involving Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect, please contact Illinois Nursing Home Attorney Mike Keating at 312-239-6787 or MKeating@KeatingLegal.com. All initial consultations are confidential and free.