Illinois Nursing Home Neglect Lawyer
Reaching the decision to put an elderly parent or relative in a nursing home can be a difficult one, involving a great deal of research into what facility would be best. You’ve put your trust in the staff members who operate the facility to look after your loved one in a responsible, caring manner. However, nursing homes and their personnel can fail to maintain an appropriate standard of care, causing vulnerable elderly residents to experience injury through either negligent or deliberately harmful behavior. The National Center on Elder Abuse reports that one in three nursing homes have been cited for violations of laws protecting residents, that 44% of residents say that they have been abused, and that 95% of residents have been neglected or seen a fellow resident neglected.
Your elderly relative may have suffered from neglect or abuse if they display the following symptoms or warning signs:
- bed sores, also called pressure ulcers, resulting from staffers failing to attend to and move less mobile residents
- rapid weight loss
- unexplained bruises or lacerations
- quickly declining mental acuity
- a prescription for antipsychotic drugs or sedatives where no doctor has previously diagnosed the individual with such conditions
- individual is more withdrawn, or has been left in isolation for long stretches of time
While most cases involve neglect of residents’ needs due to understaffing or poor training, other forms of abuse are not uncommon. Victims of physical abuse may be shoved, hit, restrained, or denied care. Those subjected to mental and emotional abuse may be yelled at, mocked, or forced into long-term isolation. Illinois’ Nursing Home Care Act offers legal protection from neglect and abuse to residents of nursing homes, as well as protections of inherent rights possessed by all residents. Among others, residents possess: a right under the law not to be restrained where it has not been ordered by a physician for safety reasons; a right to visits, calls, and letters from friends and family; a right to handle their own finances; and a right to refuse treatment.
If you believe that a loved one has suffered abuse or neglect in an Illinois nursing home, contact nursing home negligence attorneys Johnson, Westra, Broecker, Whittaker & Newitt, P.C. to consult with an attorney on these possible claims.