Disability advocates from organizations around the city want to hold accountable a company that operates nursing homes which has had a troubled facility for children closed by the state.
The advocates said they want to make sure current residents of the troubled children’s Alden Village North Nursing Home, 7464 North Sheridan Road, are given better options, and that the Alden Management Company is held accountable for fines already levied against it.
The State of Illinois announced on March 3 that it would revoke the Far North Side nursing home’s license, where seven children have died since 2008 as a result of neglect and poor care, according to Access Living and other advocates.
On March 24, organizers from Access Living’s Power to the People Coalition, the Community Renewal Society, the Jane Addams Senior Caucus, Progress Center for Independent Living and Chicago ADAPT issued an announcement regarding their campaign around the nursing home.
The groups issued a joint statement that said they were pleased with the state’s decision to revoke Alden Village North’s license but “there is concern about the future of Alden residents and about the future of the Alden management company.”
Adam Ballard, Access Living’s youth community organizer, told Residents’ Journal in a telephone interview that revoking Alden North’s license is just the first step to ensure quality community-based placements for remaining children.
Ballard said the groups’ goal is that young people with disabilities have the chance to live in communities close to their families, and added that Alden’s health facility for children and young adults should continue to be held accountable.
Ballard said the groups will make sure Alden pays over $100,000 in state fines so this facility and others will not let conditions deteriorate again.
“For the children that will hopefully be moved out of this home when it closes, we want to make sure that the state works to provide community-based living situations for them and even in their own homes whenever possible,” Ballard said.
“That’s our main concern for the children.”
Since 2000, 13 children and young adults have died as a result of neglect and abuse at the hands of health care providers at Alden Village North, which is home to nearly 100 young people with developmental disabilities.
The children who died since 2008 ranged from about 2 and half years old to about 18 years old, according to Ballard.
“One thing we want to see is that there are Medicaid waivers available for a lot of these children to receive around-the-clock care in their own home or in group homes. And we’ve heard that in some cases, the families weren’t made aware of those options before they put their children in a nursing home. So we want to see the state do a better job at telling families that that option is available to them,” he said.
“We want to see those options strengthened as well. We want to see more of those waivers and more of those options for children to live in their community.”
As for their concerns with the management company, Ballard said that “the attorney general has opened up an investigation into all of the homes in the Alden Network. And we want to see if other [nursing] homes are found to be as dangerous as Alden Village North so that proceedings will begin to close those homes as well.”
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