CHICAGO — Disturbing allegations of elder abuse at a nursing home on the city’s North Side have prompted the family of a resident, who they say was assaulted, to seek answers.
The family of 69-year-old James Crowder says they are disgusted by how their loved one was treated at Foster Health and Rehab Center in Budlong Woods. Yet, family members say they are also grateful that one woman’s discovery alerted them to what was potentially happening inside the facility.
A woman visiting her mom at the rehabilitation center witnessed Crowder injured and lying on the ground.
“She heard this man crying out. She went to see and who she saw was my brother,” said Patricia Crowder-Howard.
“Laying on the floor, no clothing, food thrown at him, bleeding, that’s no way for anybody to be treated,” said Crowder’s niece Shondra Banks.
The woman tracked down Crowder’s family, who sprung into action, demanding answers from the facility Tuesday morning. They were left with more questions, however.
“They claim he couldn’t get up. They claim this is the way he wants to be on the floor. Who wants to lay on a cold floor? He was lying in feces, urine, everything,” Crowder-Howard said. “This is how we found him last night.”
Crowder’s family called upon Ald. Andre Vasquez (40th Ward) for help.
“The first thing I think about is what if that was my family member,” Vasquez said.
He is working with the family on building a case and sending it to the Illinois Department of Public Health for follow-up.
“I talked to the person running the operation here. They’re following up with the gentleman’s doctors so he can get evaluated and then we’re getting the information from the family and following up with the state so they can look at it and let us know, is there something there to be investigated based on the details,” Ald. Vasquez said.
Crowder was taken to Thorek Memorial Hospital Tuesday afternoon. His family told WGN they are relieved that he has been removed from the facility but warn that others should check on their loved ones.
“I have to fight for him because he can’t fight for himself,” Banks said. “Anybody who has residents at this foster rehabilitation center needs to get down here and check on their people. Don’t take their word for saying that they’re OK. Come and check them out.”
WGN reached out to administrators with Foster Health and Rehab Center. They declined to comment.