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Negligence & Abuse in Alden Nursing Homes in Chicago

September 27th, 2022 – Residents of six Chicago area nursing facilities filed a class action suit against the Alden Group seeking to end chronic and intentional understaffing at the facilities. The complaint alleges Alden staffing was significantly below even the statutory minimum required nursing hours during the time period from 2018 through 2020, leading to numerous injuries and illness. While Alden profits, residents pay a painful and sometimes even deadly price. AARP Foundation, Levin & Perconti, HSPRD Legal, and Equip for Equality are representing the class and seeking monetary, declaratory, and injunctive relief to correct dangerous conditions that have resulted from understaffing the facilities. If you are a current or former resident at an Alden Group facility and have sustained injuries or experienced insufficient care, contact us today.

Nursing home abuse is the most underreported type of violence in the United States. Even still, the Illinois Department of Public Health receives nearly 19,000 complaint calls against nursing homes and elder care facilities annually.

It’s estimated that 5 million elderly individuals are abused or neglected in the United States each year. With these facts in mind, it’s no wonder making the decision to place a loved one in the care of one of these facilities is such a difficult one to make. Levin & Perconti have extensive experience in this field and have been working to help create a nursing home environment where residents are treated with the respect and dignity they deserve.

Most nursing homes, rehabilitation centers, and health care facilities won’t appear outwardly negligent or abusive. In many cases, intentionally low staffing or hiring inexperienced or sub-par staff is to blame. While the main goal for these facilities is care of our elders, the reality is, these for-profit nursing homes are big business. Having fewer people on staff or hiring minimally qualified or inexperienced CNAs, nurses, and even kitchen staff allows companies to pinch pennies, keeping an eye on their bottom line.

Not all nursing homes and health care centers are providing sub-par care and allowing negligence and abuse – in fact, there are thousands of facilities providing excellent care of our aging population nationwide. There are, however, hundreds of facilities in the state of Illinois that are operating at what the Department of Medicare considers “below average” or “much below average”.

This is why at Levin & Perconti, we strongly encourage families to become well informed about the nursing homes’ practices in general as well as any history of staffing issues and any previous state health citations, violations of the Illinois Nursing Home Care Act, and federal penalties paid before making the final selection of a nursing home or health care center for their loved one. Having an accurate picture of the facilities care history can give you peace of mind in your selection, and can keep loved ones safe from potential neglect and abuse, protect their health, well-being, and dignity, and may even save their life.

Taking a Closer Look: Alden Nursing Homes and Rehabilitation Centers

At Levin & Perconti, our attorneys regularly research and review the latest data about the care offered at Illinois nursing homes, combing the public data, including the health and safety violations and citations that have been issued by the State of Illinois and Medicare. These quarterly violation reports are public records that are available through the Illinois Department of Public Health and the Official US Government Website for Medicare.

This research has shown that many Chicago-area nursing homes and health care centers are constantly understaffed and continue to rack up health and safety violations with the State of Illinois and receive citations and penalties from the U.S. Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services. While many of the Alden Network facilities are outstanding, providing above average care for our elders (as they should), several facilities are missing that mark by a longshot – with below average marks for staffing and poor health inspections.

The Alden Network operates an expanding network of nursing homes, short term rehabilitation centers, assisted living facilities, and memory care facilities in Illinois and Wisconsin. These facilities are marketed as offering a holistic approach to care, with innovative rehabilitation and therapy programs. They describe their accommodations as luxurious and indulgent. Do they deliver on these promises? In some locations, such as Alden Estates of Skokie and Alden Estates of Northmoor in Chicago, it appears so.

A handful of Alden facilities are ranked as “much above average” overall for health, safety, and staffing by Medicare. However, there are several facilities with glaringly bad health inspection records with inexcusable shortcomings and below average staffing levels. Some of these locations include:

Life in a Alden Estates Health Care Center

While many of the Alden facilities are shining examples of good care and service, many still struggle with providing even the minimum. As with many large nursing home and health care corporations, staffing is a problem.

Understaffing and employing inexperienced, minimally qualified, and low performing staff may save the corporation money, but at the cost of quality of life of their residents. The troubling violations in care that we found while researching Alden facilities paint a picture of apathy, inexperience at best, and abhorrent sexual abuse;

Multiple cases of sexual abuse by more than one staff member, leaving residents feeling shameful, anxious, violated, and upset. Individuals relying on CNAs to provide respectful continence care being met with sexually charged remarks, CNAs exposing themselves and placing residents’ hands on their genitals, inappropriate “slaps on the bum” and “touching from head down the whole body”.

Multiple mishandled transfers resulting in dropped residents, resulting in fractures and hematomas.

Ignored or “brushed off” call lights, leaving residents in need of bathroom help, repositioning for comfort and skin ulcer prevention, waiting for food and other needs to be addressed. The residents reported that many times the nursing staff will respond that they will be right there, and then never show up, or show up an hour later.

Poor infection control and hygiene – staff not changing gloves or hand washing when appropriate, including after wiping up bowel movements.

Nursing Home and Elder Abuse Cases Handled by Levin & Perconti

The reality is, negligent care and abuse can happen at any nursing home. Levin & Perconti are widely-known and well-respected nursing home neglect attorneys, representing the families and residents of nursing homes and health care centers who have been affected by abuse or neglect, as well as the families who have lost their loved one under these circumstances. Some of these cases have included matters like:

All of these preventable issues should not be happening. It’s particularly heartbreaking to know these things are regularly happening to our vulnerable elders while in nursing home care. If any treatment of your loved one while a resident of an Alden facility has left you feeling unsettled and concerned, we can help. You have the right to know what kind of situation your loved one is living in.

Negligent care is unacceptable, and these life-altering events should not occur, anywhere. Your inquiry may save your loved one from negligent care, abuse, and may even save their life.

Levin & Perconti have achieved multiple million-dollar verdicts and settlements for the families and residents who have been affected by abuse or negligent care as a direct result of understaffing, poor training, and apathetic business practices.

Contact us at Levin & Perconti online or call us at 877-374-1417 for a free and confidential consultation with a skilled nursing home abuse attorney.