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Nursing Home Patient Dies When Struck By Car In Busy Street. What Was He Doing There?

Screen shot 2011-02-25 at 2.02.20 PM.png No one at Emeritus of Prospect Heights nursing home, thought much about why William Spears, a resident at the facility, was headed out for a stroll—at 11 p.m.— on a cold February night— and with his walker.  Why? That’s what authorities from the Prospect Heights Police Department and the Illinois Department of Public Health are likely asking of the staff at the Chicagoland nursing home.  Shortly after Mr. Spears walked out of the facility for his midnight stroll, he was struck by a SUV as he entered a busy nearby street. According to a Chicago Tribune report of the incident, Mr. Spears, 78, had been a resident at the Emeritus facility for seven years. I find situations such as this– when patients receive horrific injuries—  inexcusable! Too frequently we see patients injured when they leave the safety of their facility and face a world they are incapable of handling on their own. At some point, staff at these facilities needs to step in and use their common sense to help ensure the safety of the residents.

For more information on nursing homes in Chicago look here. For laws related to Illinois nursing homes, look here.

Related: Elderly man hit, killed by SUV outside nursing home, Chicago Tribune, February 23, 2011 Nursing Home Patients Involved In Automobile Accidents: Who’s To Blame? Hit & Run Car Accident Costs Ohio Nursing Home Resident Her Life Lack Of Door Alarms Allows Assisted Living Patient To Wander To Her Death

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  • Hi Jonathan – We know it’s hard to get the whole story from a brief newspaper report.
    As we stated in our comment on the other blog about this February incidient, this resident had lived in residential care at the community for seven years, and was extremely well-known and treasured by the staff.
    He lived in his own apartment, was active and alert, and loved going for walks on his own, which he often did. He chose to live at Emeritus at Prospect Heights because it enables seniors to live as independently and comfortably as possible, with the ability to make his own choices as to how to live his day.
    The staff was very familiar with his need for walks, and his regular habit of taking them. Because he was alert, oriented and had never experienced trouble on previous walks, there was no reason for the staff to prevent him from walking on that evening.

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