Back in July, I wrote about an incident at the Sheltering Oak Nursing Home in Island Lake, Illinois. A heat wave drying out the midwest raised nursing home temperatures in the Sheltering Oak nursing home over 100 degrees. The nursing home had no air conditioning units and the residents were sweltering in the heat. Still, the administration of Sheltering Oak resisted evacuating any of the residents to safer environments.
The Sheltering Oak administration bought 24 window air conditioning units to try to avoid evacuation, but they did little to control the deadly heat. Newspaper reports indicated that health officials evacuated over fifty Sheltering Oak residents.
The official report has now been published by the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), and it reveals that the dangers the nursing home residents were exposed to were even more dangerous than reports initially indicated.
Island Lake Police were alarmed when they observed the electrical boxes operating the window air conditioning units were physically hot to the touch. The fire department used a thermal imager and found that the breaker box was over 150 degrees. A fire could have easily started.
Sheltering Oak nursing home did not have any evacuation plan detailed. The director of the nursing home admitted that he had never received any kind of emergency or disaster training, and didn’t even know that there were agencies available who could have assisted.
It’s fortunate that police and fire authorities were able to step in and avoid a potential tragedy stemming from nursing home neglect. If the nursing home had continued operating under those conditions, a fire or other heat related wrongful death could easily have occurred.
If you have a loved one in an Illinois nursing home who has been injured, and you feel that nursing home neglect played a role in his or her injury, contact our Chicago Illinois nursing home lawyers for a free and confidential evaluation of your case.