A Tucson adult home care facility faced backlash last summer after five residents needed medical attention due to the heat. The owner of the facility was charged with five counts of vulnerable adult abuse, and another nine counts of endangerment.
The case served as an example of just how serious negligence is when it comes to nursing home abuse.
The Nursing Home’s Air Conditioning Was Broken
In July, the Tucson area experienced record-breaking heat that eclipsed 110 degrees for multiple days. Inside Angelique’s Adult Care Homes, the air conditioning was broken for an undetermined amount of time, news reports said.
A call was made to the Tucson Fire Department reporting a possible case of dehydration for one resident. When emergency personnel arrived, they discovered the air conditioning was broken, and that five of the nine residents living there needed medical attention. The remaining four residents were transferred to other medical facilities as well.
Extreme Heat Can Be Dangerous
Extreme heat conditions can be dangerous to anybody, but infants and the elderly are especially susceptible. Because elderly people’s bodies do not adjust as well to temperature changes as younger people, they are more at risk for heat-related illnesses.
The elderly are also more likely to have medical conditions that affect how they react to heat and take prescriptions that can potentially inhibit the body’s ability to perspire. This leads to a much higher risk for dehydration, heat exhaustion and heat stroke.
Not only should elderly people increase their intake of fluids when temperatures are hotter, doctors recommend they remain indoors in cool places. With the air conditioning out at the nursing home for even a day, it presents a threatening environment to those inside.
Is the Nursing Home Liable?
The job of the staff at nursing homes is to keep their residents safe from harm. That doesn’t just mean not doing anything directly to harm the residents, it also means making the correct judgment calls if something within the building or around them could pose a threat.
In the case of Angelique’s Adult Care Homes, this means staff should have closely monitored their patients for signs of heat-related illness and transported them to other facilities if the air conditioning couldn’t be fixed on the day it broke. A building without proper means to cool off below the outside scorching temperatures is a dangerous place for the elderly to be.
Have Experienced Tucson Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers on Your Side
If you believe a loved one is the victim of nursing home abuse, an attorney well-versed in nursing home abuse cases can help you and your family make your way through the muddied waters of liability law.
At Miller Weber Kory LLP, our Tucson nursing home abuse lawyers have years of experience dealing with the fallout of nursing home abuse cases, and will tirelessly fight for the justice you deserve. Call us today at (602) 648-4045.