Identifying Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect
There are about 1,200 nursing home and long term care facilities in Illinois. These nursing homes are regulated by governmental and private organizations including the Illinois Department of Public Health and the US Department of Health and Human Services. Despite multiple regulators, there are frequently violations in these nursing homes that lead to fines and investigations. A report on the nursing home violations in relation to patient care for the first quarter of 2016 is available here. As this report indicates, nursing home abuse and neglect is a serious issue that affects thousands of nursing home residents in Illinois.What are Some Reasons Nursing Home Abuses Happen?
Often, negligence occurs when nursing homes are understaffed or direct-care workers are undertrained. Although workers hope to provide the proper care and attention that every resident deserves, it is often difficult to deliver quality care in these conditions. Due to this, it is crucial for families and friends of nursing home residents to understand what constitutes nursing home abuse and neglect. By being able to identify the warning signs of neglect, you may help to protect your loved ones from needless suffering.What are Some Signs of Nursing Home Abuse to Watch for?
Some typical signs of nursing home abuse and neglect include unexplained injuries or bruises, a fear of being alone with caretakers, bedsores, lack of hygiene and a lack of clean clothes. These are not the only symptoms that may result from nursing home abuse or neglect, but they are often typical in these types of cases.What are Some Forms of Nursing Home Abuse?
Nursing home abuse and neglect presents in many different ways and can affect a resident physically, mentally and emotionally. Warning signs of inadequate care include:
- Pressure ulcers
- Malnutrition and/or dehydration
- Cuts, bruises or broken bones
- Poor hygiene
- An unclean environment and/or smells
- Weight loss
- Changes in demeanor
- Wandering or elopement
- Medication errors
In Illinois, nursing home residents and their families have a right to question a nursing home's care decisions. A facility cannot retaliate against your loved one when you question care. If you believe a loved one is receiving substandard nursing care, you should discuss their care plan with staff. You can also contact the Illinois Long-Term Care Ombudsman who can help you look into your concerns, or the Illinois Department of Public Health to file a complaint against the home. Ombudsmen are not emergency responders. There is little they can go when you believe a loved one is in immediate danger. If you think a loved one is in immediate danger, calling 911 is the best course of action.How Can a Lawyer Help?
If your loved one has suffered a serious injury or death as a result of nursing home negligence, feel free to contact an experienced Chicago personal injury lawyer to discuss your potential case at 312-332-2872 or 877-374-1417 or complete our Contact Form. Legal action not only compensates victims, but also sends a message to negligent nursing homes that poor care will not be tolerated, thereby helping to improve conditions and the quality of care for residents throughout Illinois.