Elderly Abuse Attorney
Leading Illinois Lawyer for Elderly Abuse
Today in America, more than one million of our elderly loved ones live in nursing homes and, sadly, a significant percentage of them are suffering from abuse and neglect. According to the Centers for Disease Control, elder abuse occurs when a caretaker acts in such a way as to cause harm or create a risk of harm to someone age 60 or older. These acts can come in the form of emotional or psychological abuse, financial abuse, neglect, physical abuse, and/or sexual abuse.
If you suspect that you or a loved one has been subjected to abuse or neglect in an Illinois nursing home facility, long-term assisted living facility, and/or hospital, contact our experienced Illinois elderly abuse lawyers today for a FREE CONSULTATION to find out about your rights. Not only can bringing a claim help provide compensation for victims, but it could prevent someone else from being injured or killed at one of these facilities.
Common Injuries Experienced by Residents in Illinois Nursing Homes
Every year, there are more than one million incidents that occur in nursing homes that lead to serious injury. Some of the most common issues that arise (and that you should look out for as possible signs of neglect or abuse) include the following:
- Presence of bruises
- Untreated infections
- Poor hygiene
- Bedsores/pressure ulcers
- Broken bones
- Head trauma
- Mental and emotional abuse in the form of: belittling, embarrassing, threatening, and/or yelling at residents. Residents will sometimes manifest this abuse by suddenly withdrawing, becoming especially agitated and/or quiet/unwilling to speak and/or fearful of physical contact when you visit and/or when home employees are in the room
- Sexual attacks
- Sexual intercourse
- Weight loss, dehydration, and/or signs of malnutrition
- Open wounds
- Indications of possible medication errors, such as lethargy, seizures, involuntary muscle movements, sudden death, etc.
- Spinal injuries
- Hip, spine, and/or wrist fractures (which could be indicative of falls)
- Signs of a concussion: Decreased level of consciousness, confusion, coma, speech difficulties, death, etc.
- Sudden discrepancies in their financial accounting/financial accounts
Know the Law and Your Rights as Elder in Illinois
State and federal law protects residents in nursing homes. For example, in Illinois, the law dictates that nursing services must meet the needs of the resident, and this includes how many nurses must be available at all times (per a limited number of residents) and average daily occupancy. In addition, under federal law, any and all nursing homes that participate in Medicaid and Medicare (which is a majority of the facilities) must comply with certain quality of care rules to maintain the “highest practicable physical, mental, and psychosocial well-being” of each resident. These include:
- Conducting comprehensive assessments of each resident’s functional capacity;
- Developing comprehensive care plans for residents and maintain accurate, complete records for each one;
- Ensuring that residents receive proper treatment, maintain hearing and vision abilities, do not develop pressure sores, and receive the proper treatment if they do develop pressure sores;
- Ensuring that residents receive adequate assistive devices and supervision so as to prevent Accidents;
- Ensuring that residents are free of medication errors and are provided with pharmaceutical services to meet their needs;
- Ensuring that residents can choose their own activities and schedules, and make their own healthcare choices;
- Ensuring that the facility has sufficient nursing staff;
- Preventing deterioration of resident’s ability to take care of themselves, such as maintaining personal hygiene and nutrition;
- Providing appropriate care to incontinent residents to restore as much bladder functioning as possible;
- Providing each resident with sufficient fluids and nutrition;
- Promoting residents’ quality of life; and
- Maintaining residents’ dignity and respect.
- Residents also have the right to be free from abuse, physical restraints, and to enjoy privacy and the right to voice their grievances without retaliation.
Nursing Home Elderly Abuse Claims in Illinois
If a loved one has fallen victim to neglect or abuse in one of these homes, there are a number of claims that can be brought against the home, including but not limited to negligent hiring of employees, maintenance, medical malpractice, supervision and care, and other related claims. These facilities can be held liable for any harm that results, not only including medical expenses, but also pain and suffering, funeral costs, and other related expenses.
Elderly Accidents Involving Mechanical Lifts in Illinois Nursing Homes
In addition, there are also a number of physical injuries incurred every year in these homes due to negligence in operating the mechanical lifts used to move and transition residents and patients.
By failing to properly lift the patient or place him or her in the correct position, etc., patients can incur traumatic brain injuries, bone fractures, spinal injuries, and similar catastrophic injuries. If these facilities fail to properly train staff on how to use this equipment, serious tragedies can result. Some of the issues we have seen with respect to use and maintenance of this equipment include:
- Lift malfunctions due to failure to inspect and/or maintain;
- Staff failing to follow equipment manual protocol;
- Staff trying to operate the equipment and move a patient alone instead of relying on two people;
- Employees failing to use the right size sling or lift for the patient, or failing to secure the loops;
- Staff failing to place the resident securely in the sling; and
- Employees lifting resident without first performing a safety check to make sure everything is properly positioned and the area around the lift is clear of hazards.
Get Help from Our Illinois Elderly Abuse Lawyer
We entrust these facilities with the care of our loved ones. If you or a loved one was abused or neglected in an assisted living facility, contact our Illinois lawyer for elderly abuse today at (773) 645-9997 or fill this form to find out how we can help. Our lawyers are highly-rated and have extensive experience addressing injuries and deaths in these facilities due to neglect and even intentional conduct.