Nursing Home Abuse
Nursing Home Abuse Attorney in Rockford, IL
If your loved ones rights have been violated while living in a nursing home or an assisted living facility, please contact us right away.
Types of Nursing Home Abuse
Any assault on a person in a nursing home’s care can be described as physical abuse. If you see the presence of bruising, bedsores, broken bones, or other physical damage on your loved one, please seek immediate assistance as to the perpetrator of the abuse. The sooner you report it, the faster the facility will be inspected.
This type of abuse can be hard to identify, as it is often silent, and victims are afraid to speak out. Ask your older family or friends who live in nursing homes if they feel embarrassed, threatened, or alone on every visit. Make sure your loved ones are being taken care of compassionately and professionally at all times.
The perpetrator of this type of abuse can be either an employee of the nursing home or another member of the community. So, steps need to be taken to ensure the safety and well-being of your loved one. This can be the most heartbreaking type of abuse, so please communicate openly with your loved ones about their sexual well-being.
Nursing Home Abuse Law
As claimed by the Nursing Home Abuse Center, there are over one million nursing home incidents reported every year. These incidents include injuries that are caused by both neglect and abuse. The types of damage that can occur are physical, mental/emotional, and sexual. Nursing home abuse is a horrifying and unsettling truth, and for those who are affected by this type of tragedy need to know that there are people who can help.
Statistics of Nursing Home Abuse Nationally
As the population of the United States grows, the number of people over the national retirement age of 65 grows too. According to the federal census, the number of older people over the age of 65 is 47.8 million. Of those older folks, nearly 2 million of them are in nursing homes, and that number is on the rise. Because of their typically fragile nature, approximately half of them suffer some injury in the nursing home. While many of those occur due to accidents, too many still happen because of neglect or abuse.
What is nursing home neglect?
Nursing home neglect is defined as negligence or carelessness on the part of the caregiver. That means the caregiver is indifferent to the well-being of their patient. If a nursing home doesn’t provide enough adequate caretakers or enough support staff, they are in the wrong. Furthermore, there are many strict guidelines for the equipment and facilities that frequently are not adequately maintained. Understaffing is the leading cause of nursing home neglect, again, according to the Nursing Home Abuse Center.
SIGNS OF NURSING HOME ABUSE
One of the main reasons for older people to have seizures is medication error. It is neglectful for staff to provide the wrong medication dosage and can lead to severe injury or even death.
Weight Loss or Lethargy
If your loved one begins to lose a lot of bodyweight or seems down, lethargic, or inactive – it may be a warning sign that something is wrong.
These are called pressure ulcers and occur when a tiny sore on the body goes untreated for some time. These can be redness on the surface of the skin. Sometimes, bedsores even go as deep as the bone underneath.
If you see open cuts, sprains that prevent them from walking or moving regularly, or lacerations of any kind, use those as an indicator of abuse.
TYPES OF INJURIES THAT OCCUR
This can result from dropping the patient. Older people who are moved from bed to wheelchair with mechanical lifting machines are susceptible to this type of injury. Each year about 1,800 people die in nursing homes from falling.
When an ambulating (walking) patient moves around, there is always a risk of fall. While this might not be from abuse or neglect, if they’re not provided equipment like crutches, it can be. The most common bones broken while falling are hip, wrist, and head.
Infection is the most common type of injury associated with neglect. The reason for this is that infections are clear indicators that a patient isn’t receiving proper care and that germs are present around wounds.
When a patient falls and hits their head, they will often suffer a concussion. If you notice high levels of confusion, slurring, and low consciousness in your loved one – ask if they’ve suffered a head injury. This can be very serious and result in coma or even death.
What are some of the laws surrounding nursing home abuse or neglect?
Almost every state has regulations, and the federal government also has laws intended to lessen nursing home abuse and neglect. In Illinois, a nursing home can be sued both criminally and civilly if neglect or abuse is found. If you believe your loved one has been the victim of nursing home abuse, you can file a complaint with the Illinois Department of Public Health. Once file your claim, the home will be under investigation, and an inspection will occur to determine whether the facility is compliant with the law. If your complaint results in a finding that the nursing home did, in fact, abuse or neglect your loved one, you are entitled to compensation. The legal experts at MacCloskey Kesler and Associates step in to fight for you and make sure you recover financial damages for their neglect or abuse.
Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer in Rockford, IL
At MacCloskey Kesler and Associates, we believe that every person is entitled to compassionate and professional care when in a nursing home. If your facility has failed to provide you that care and your loved one has suffered an injury due to that abuse or neglect call right away at (815) 965-2000.
What to take away from this article?
Under the Illinois Nursing Home Care Act, residents of nursing homes have rights. Those rights include the following:
- The right to complain
- The right to their clothing and personal property, and adequate storage space for the same
- The right to choose their doctor
- The right to information about the possible consequences of medical treatment and to refuse the same
- The right to examine their medical records
- The right to have their appointed caregiver examine their medical records
- The right to manage their financial situation
- The right to be free of physical restraints, or to agree to same if medically warranted
- The right to freedom of communication
- The right to freedom of religion
If your loved ones’ rights are violated, call us right away.
What if my loved one suffers a wrongful death in a nursing home?
If neglect or abuse results in wrongful death, the family can file a report of the failure under a “healing art malpractice” filing. Non-partisan health professionals must review the claim. The professional must submit their report within 90 days. A healing arts claim can only recover lost wages, medical expenses, and other costs. No pain and suffering are allowed, and therefore a filing under the NHCA is more likely to recover more fair compensation.
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