As the temperature increases, the risk of injury and/or death to the vulnerable elderly rises as well. It is not only those elderly that live alone that are at risk, but also those that live in group homes and nursing home facilities.
The Toledo Blade reported last week on the not guilty plea entered by the former owner of a group home, where two residents died in 2008 from excessive heat.
The plea stems from an indictment against the former owner of the home on two counts of involuntary manslaughter. According to authorities, the living conditions of the group home included the residents’ room recording a temperature of 90.5 degrees and one of the deceased residents having a body temperature of 105.5 degrees at admission to the hospital.
Heat related illnesses and death in the elderly population are preventable, with appropriate care. While the elderly population is at a higher risk of illness due to excessive heat, nursing homes and long term care facilities are required to provide appropriate conditions for the safety and well being of residents. Unfortunately, many are poorly run, with overworked staff, run-down facilities, and an environment that fosters abuse and neglect.
The CDC provides some good information on dealing with heat issues in the elderly. As summer approaches and the temperature rises, be on the lookout for signs of heat illnesses and risk factors in our elderly family members and neighbors.
If you have questions or would like to discuss any issues relating to nursing home or group home neglect or abuse, please contact the personal injury lawyers at Gallon, Takacs, Boissoneault & Schaffer at (419) 843-2001 or at gallonlaw.com.