When you place a loved one in a nursing home, you expect them to be given the care and respect that they deserve. After all, your decision to do so was likely not an easy or quick one. Unfortunately, nursing home abuse is a serious and all too common issue in our country. In fact, according to the Special Investigations Division of the House Government Reform Committee, 30 percent of U.S. nursing homes—or over 5,200 facilities—have been formally cited for abuse. If you believe your loved one was denied their rights or treated unfairly by nursing home staff, you have options available to you. Contact a knowledgeable DuPage County nursing home abuse lawyer to learn about your options. A qualified personal injury attorney could help you seek justice on behalf of your loved one.
The Nursing Home Care Act
Residents of nursing homes in Illinois have many rights that are outlined in 210 ILCS 45, also known as the Nursing Home Care Act (NHCA). These rights include:
- The right to their own clothing and personal property, and adequate storage space
- The right to choose their own doctor
- The right to be informed of potential consequences of medical treatment and to refuse said treatment
- The right to examine their medical records
- The right to have their appointed caregiver examine their medical records
- The right to manage their own finances
- The right to be free of physical restraints, or to agree to the same if medically warranted
- The rights to freedom of communication and freedom of religion
If any of these NHCA-guaranteed rights are violated, the resident of the nursing home or their representative can file a lawsuit. Through such a suit, a seasoned DuPage County nursing home abuse lawyer may be able to obtain a fair settlement on behalf of the nursing home resident and their family members.
Signs of Nursing Home Abuse
Anyone with family members or friends in a nursing home should be aware of the possible signs of nursing home abuse and report them if noted. Common signs of nursing home abuse include insistent and frequent complaints, objections to one or two specific staff members, unusual behavior changes, fear of being alone.
Physical symptoms and evidence of abuse or neglect may include hazardous or unsafe living conditions, soiled bedding, constant thirst, and any kind of unexplained bruising or physical injuries. If possible, these concerns should be discussed with the nursing home resident and their doctor as well as an independent nursing home abuse lawyer in DuPage County.
How a DuPage County Nursing Home Abuse Attorney Could Help
If you have reason to believe that a family member has fallen victim to nursing home abuse, the first step to take is to report it, even if you cannot be specific or do not yet have definitive proof it is happening. If held up, this report could result in the abuser(s) being removed from the facility and prevent the abuse of other residents.
Next, you should contact a DuPage County nursing home abuse lawyer for professional assistance with your case. A knowledgeable attorney may be able to investigate your loved one’s claims to determine who is liable for the abuse. Then, they could help you pursue compensation for their damages through either a fair settlement or a court case—whatever it takes to get your loved one the justice they deserve. Call today to learn more about your options.