Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Chicago, IL
Nursing home abuse is frightening because you want to be able to trust the people who are taking care of your loved ones. It is scary when you find out that the place they were supposed to be comfortable and safe is actually the very opposite. In fact, this is one of the reasons, why some old people do not want to be taken care of in a nursing home. Some have heard stories of abuse, from their friends, they have family members that have suffered, at the hands of abusive nurses, and more. Also, one of the ways to look at the reputation of a nursing home is to read reviews on the site, in relation to the place that one may end up staying at. If reviews are positive, then the place may have a good reputation; however, this is not entirely black and white, as reviewers are not the end-all-be-all.
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 Chicago 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.
If you think there is even just a chance that your loved one is being abused in a nursing home or assisted living facility in any way, you need to take him or her out of the situation and contact a nursing home abuse lawyer in Chicago, Illinois from Disparti Law Group Accident & Injury Lawyers right away. We will make sure that your loved one gets a fair and thorough investigation at their place of living and that they are safe before returning to their home. It is important for everyone to look out for elders, as they are a more vulnerable part of the population.
Table Of Contents:
- WAYS A PERSON CAN BE ABUSED IN A NURSING HOME
- WHY DO NURSING HOME RESIDENTS GET ABUSED
- CHICAGO NURSING HOME ABUSE LAW INFOGRAPHIC
- THE NURSING HOME CARE ACT
- SIGNS OF NURSING HOME ABUSE
- STEPS TO TAKE FOLLOWING SUSPECTED ABUSE
- CHICAGO NURSING HOME ABUSE LAW FAQS
- CHICAGO NURSING HOME ABUSE STATISTICS
Ways A Person Can Be Abused In A Nursing Home
Unfortunately, there are many different forms of abuse that occur in nursing homes and assisted living homes. Not all of them are incredibly obvious, so you should know what to look out for. Here are a few of the most common ways people are mistreated in their homes:
-Residents are not taken care of properly. This can include a lack of good, healthy foods, overmedicating, not giving them a comfortable place to stay or even verbal abuse. Healthy foods are some of the most important facets of a nursing home since they aid in ensuring that an individual’s health from a diet perspective, is being taken care of. In relation to abuse, there are times when a nurse may not care about the nutritional needs of a resident, and as such, this will end up reflecting an unhealthy diet.
-Residents can develop bed sores from not being tended to often enough. This is a telltale sign that your loved one is likely facing abuse. It is important for someone who is bedbound to still continue to move around so that their blood is still able to flow properly. Moreover, nursing homes (when not taken care of properly), can have issues involving bed bugs, ticks, and more. This may be one of the reasons why residents may develop sores.
-Ignoring residents is one of the most common forms of abuse in nursing homes. This could be in the form of not giving any emotional or mental stimulation whatsoever, or it could be by not properly physically caring for them.
-Financial abuse is also possible as well. Not unheard of that nurses and other staff to steal from their residents or the facility as a whole overcharging or finding ways to steal from their social security benefits.
It is always important to be aware of what your loved one is going through and check in on them in person on a regular basis.
Why Do Nursing Home Residents Get Abused
While sometimes residents do get abused due to malicious intents and/or actions, often there are less heinous reasons why residents become abused. Some reasons may include:
- Inexperienced Caregivers: The facility as a whole or the staff they employ may simply be inexperienced when comes to taking care of elderly patients. A way this inexperience manifests may include taking care of their personal needs such as properly maintaining their hygiene, giving them the proper food both in terms of nutrition and what they’re allowed to eat, and properly administering their medicine.
- Staffing Problems: Sometimes a facility may be facing a staffing problem and have too many residents compared to staff. As such, staff might not be able to give as much attention to a resident as needed. Additionally, this may also lead to the facility hiring inexperienced caregivers. For example, they may hire contract workers or staff with fewer years of experience in order to fill vacant positions.
- Problems with the Caregivers Themselves: Caregivers are humans just like everyone else and they might abuse residents even without that being their intentions. For example, working at a nursing home can be hard, grueling work, and some nurses may receive low pay. Compounded with external stresses, it’s possible for caregivers to simply lose their passion and not be as attentive.
Chicago Nursing Home Abuse Law Infographic
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 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, and 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 Chicago.
Noticing The Signs Of Abuse
If you were going to put your loved one in a home, it is crucial that you know some of the telltale signs of nursing home abuse. This would involve identifying any of what we mentioned above, as well as any major changes in personality or the way your loved one talks to you. This is one of the most important signs since abuse is not always outwardly. If a resident has changed their behavior, with them seeming to have shut down, the former resident being more aggressive, more depressed, and more, then these could likely be signs of mental abuse. If someone is being abused in a nursing home, he or she may shut down and not be as talkative. Your relative could be scared of the repercussions that they may face if they speak up. It is always important to have some alone time with your loved ones so that he or they can be completely honest with you about how everything is going on at home. It is your duty to keep a close eye on them to keep them safe from harm.
Steps To Take Following Suspected Abuse
If you believe your family member is being abused there are a few steps you should undertake. The first step should always be to remove them from the situation. This may mean entrusting them with a family member or moving them to another care facility. Following this, you will want to get in contact with an experienced abuse lawyer and start gathering evidence. Some pieces of evidence may include:
- Any medical records.
- Photographs of abuse sustained (such as physical marks).
- Testimonies written/recorded from parties such as the resident suspected of being abused, other residents, staff members’ testimonies, your own account of the abuse, doctors’ opinions, etc.
Lastly, you will want to try communicating with your loved ones as best as you can to see if they can tell you any vital information. This may be a difficult process for them and they may not have the mental facilities to be able to do so. You may even need to enlist the help of necessary professionals that are able to talk to your loved ones. If this isn’t possible, however, your lawyer will still be able to help you build your case by finding other sources of evidence.
Chicago Nursing Home Abuse Law FAQs
Why do I need a nursing home abuse lawyer?
This is one of the best questions you can ask when you are getting started with your nursing home abuse case. When you begin to notice signs of abuse that your loved one is dealing with, you may think that the signs of abuse are so obvious that working with a lawyer is unnecessary. However, many people fall into this trap. Because of this, you may not be able to get your loved one to safety quickly enough and you may not be able to recover the full extent of compensation that they deserve. When you are prepared to move forward with a legal claim or lawsuit against the nursing home, it is time to seek help from a team you can trust, such as those from Disparti Law Group Accident & Injury Lawyers.
You may be unfamiliar with nursing home laws, what constitutes abuse, and what steps to take following the abuse. Do you keep your loved one in the same facility but require that the abuser stays away from your loved one? Do you immediately pull them out of the facility? Do you get an in-home nurse to care for them? How will you pay for all of this? A nursing home lawyer can help guide you through these questions and provide you with helpful answers.
How can a nursing home abuse lawyer help me and my loved one?
You may be wondering what a nursing home lawyer can do to help you. When it comes to protecting your family, you may believe that you are the best line of defense because you are emotionally involved in the situation and can fiercely defend your loved one after the abuse occurred. However, it cannot be stated enough just how valuable a Chicago, Illinois nursing home abuse lawyer can be. Not only will they see things from an outside perspective, but they will bring valuable legal experience to the table. They will know the state laws regarding nursing home care, they will have access to expert witnesses, and they will be able to concentrate on your case and deal with the legal paperwork while you are taking care of your loved one.
You may also be wondering how you will know if your nursing home abuse lawyer is the right fit for you. When you go in for your first consultation, remember that you are the one hiring them. You should be prepared with questions, learn about their legal history and success rate, and see if you feel like a good fit with each other. Nursing home abuse cases can take a toll on a person emotionally, and while your lawyer is not there to be your therapist, you want to know that you will be working with someone who is not only aggressive legally but kind and compassionate to you and your loved one.
What is considered elderly abuse?
Abuse is considered the negligent, ill-will, harmful, exploitative behavior or harassment of another person. Elderly abuse occurs in the aged population and sadly, is more prevalent than one might think. Rather than protecting and respecting the older generation, some think it’s okay to prey on their weaknesses, exploit them, neglect their basic human needs, or physically, emotionally, and sexually abuse them. Elderly abuse is horrible and should be stopped immediately. If you suspect abuse, neglect, or exploitation is happening to an elderly person in your life, you should contact an attorney as soon as possible.
Where does elderly abuse occur?
Unfortunately, elder abuse can occur in any place where there are older individuals. Common places where elder abuse is found are nursing homes, hospitals, outpatient treatment centers, rehabilitation places, and the victim’s own residence. When looking for an elder abuse perpetrator, anyone can be a suspect. Nurses, doctors, hospital staff, nursing home workers, family members, online friends, and caregivers are all people who have regular access to elderly individuals and who are capable of abuse, neglect, harassment, or exploitation. For example, if a caregiver purposefully neglects their elderly patient’s life-saving medication, that would be considered elder abuse.
What should you do if you suspect abuse is happening to an elderly loved one?
If you are suspicious that abuse, neglect, harassment, or exploitation is happening to a loved one, or an aged person in your life, contact a lawyer who has experience in elder abuse law. Skilled attorneys such as those at Disparti Law Group Accident & Injury Lawyers desire their clients’ safety and well-being. They will work hard to pursue justice and accountability for their clients. It is better to be safe than sorry when it comes to elder abuse situations. Even if your suspicion is proven wrong, you are looking out for your aged loved one’s best interest.
How can a nursing home abuse lawyer help their clients?
Nursing home abuse lawyers help their clients in a number of different ways. From investigating abusive situations to finding safe housing for their clients, they are there to represent and support their clients through every step of the legal process. Some elders are afraid to come forward and report their abuse, neglect, harassment, or exploitation for fear of being wrong. They may wonder if they are wrong, and question whether people will believe them or not. Others may fear they will have to leave their place of residence, or that they will be without their needed care.
Why do the elderly experience abuse in nursing homes?
Elder abuse can occur anywhere elderly people are, including nursing homes. While staff, nurses, and doctors have to undergo background and security checks, some have dark ulterior motives for wanting access to elderly people. Understaffing is a huge contributing factor as well. However, clients should never have to worry about their care or housing as a Chicago nursing home abuse lawyer will ensure they are in a safe place where they can be properly taken care of. Part of an attorney’s job is to make sure that their client is removed from their abusive situation as soon as possible. Contact a Chigaco nursing home abuse lawyer today and start protecting your loved ones.
How a Chicago 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 Chicago 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.
Chicago Nursing Home Abuse Statistics
According to the National Council On Aging, 1 in 10 Americans over the age of 60 has experienced a form of elder abuse. This includes those living in nursing homes. The large number of cases involving nursing abuse is a major concern in healthcare. This type of mistreatment includes different types of abuse. Patients can be abused physically, emotionally, and/or financially. Nursing abuse can occur in hospitals, nursing homes, and private residences. The effects of this mistreatment can be devastating for patients, causing physical and psychological harm and reducing their trust in healthcare providers generally. The causes behind this abuse are complex and can be attributed to factors like inadequate training, understaffing, and poor working conditions. Addressing this issue requires a multi-faceted approach that includes better training for nurses, increased staffing levels, and stricter enforcement of regulations and laws against nursing abuse.
Disparti Law Group Accident & Injury Lawyers Chicago Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
121 W Wacker Dr., #2300, Chicago, IL, 60601
Contact Disparti Law Group Accident & Injury Lawyerss Chicago Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys Today
Even if you are unsure of whether or not your loved one is facing abuse, you should reach out to someone who is an expert on this topic and can help you better investigate. Contact a nursing home abuse lawyer in Chicago, IL from Disparti Law Group Accident & Injury Lawyers today to set up a consultation. From there, the lawyer would be able to aid an individual in assessing the situation from an in-depth perspective. Examples of this would include questions about the kind of abuse that one went through, how it affected the individual, any compensation that one could get from their suffering, and more. We can go over all of the details of what your loved one may be going through and help you figure out what the next steps you can take should be.