Chicago Nursing Home Neglect and Abuse Attorneys
Placing a loved one in a nursing home or assisted living facility is one of the hardest decisions a family ever makes. You want to be there for your loved one, but know you cannot do it alone. Therefore, you find a nursing home to protect your loved one and attend to your loved one’s needs. You hope and expect your loved one will be safe and comfortable. Will the nursing home be vigilant, thorough, and trustworthy?
Tragically, far too many nursing homes and workers fail each day. Every day, our elderly friends and family are being neglected or abused. This neglect and abuse can be physical, emotional, or financial. Because our loved ones are weak, these failures often go unspoken and undetected.
Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect is Alarmingly Common
Nursing home abuse and neglect is a widespread catastrophe that should concern all of us. We want to protect our most vulnerable citizens. Unfortunately, they are often helped by those we hire to care for them.
Studies show that 44% of nursing home residents say they have been neglected and 95% way they have witnessed neglect. Nearly one out of ten nursing homes have violations that cause residents harm, serious injury, or place them in jeopardy of death. According to the National Center on Elder Abuse, over half of Certified Nursing Assistants have reported yelling at a resident, 23% have pushed, grabbed or shoved a resident, and 23% have insulted or sworn at a resident. This is not the compassionate care your loved one deserves.
Elder Abuse is a violation of human rights, and can cause physical illness, mental illness and injury.
When the time comes to place a parent or a loved one into a nursing home or elder care facility, you are also placing trust into the employees and administration of that facility to provide proper care. In today’s society, negligence and elder abuse is all too common despite the regulations that are place on these facilities. Nursing homes in Illinois are licensed, regulated, inspected and / or certified by a number of public and private agencies at the state and federal levels, including the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). You can learn more here.
Despite the laws and regulations that are in place, many nursing homes violate health and safety standards every day. So why do these violations and poor care continue to occur within nursing homes and care facilities? Oftentimes nursing home facilities are under staffed, issues can include staffing shortages, staff sicknesses, high turnover, and poor staff supervision. You can learn more at the National Center on Elder Abuse – here.
What is Nursing Home and Assisted Living Neglect?
Nursing home neglect occurs when a caretaker fails to fulfill his or her duty to a resident. This can include physical neglect, medical neglect, failure to protect, and failure to assist. It not only includes physical wellbeing, but also includes the patient’s psychological wellbeing.
Unfortunately, many nursing home staff members are underpaid, inexperienced, overworked, or not properly trained. This may occur due to inability to personnel shortages or attempts to control costs. Some nursing homes prioritize profits above their patients. Nonetheless, neglect and abuse may also occur inside well-run facilities
Types of Nursing Home Neglect
Nursing home neglect takes on many forms depending upon the facility and the patient. Common categories include neglecting the patient’s personal hygiene, failing to provide basic needs such as nourishment or a clean environment, medical neglect such as medication errors, failure to supervise, and emotional neglect which leaves residents lonely and depressed.
Specific examples of nursing home abuse or neglect include the following:
- Failure to provide proper nutrition and hydration
- Failure to assist in personal hygiene
- Failure to move the patient resulting in bed sores
- Failure to take reasonable precautions to prevent falls
- Allowing patients to wander away
- Failure to answer call lights
- Failure to provide for appropriate medical care
- Failure to protect residents from other residents.
- Failure to prevent theft of the resident’s money or property
- Failure to interact with clients to meet emotional needs
- Over-medication or failure to give medication
Nursing Home Abuse
Tragically, some caregivers intentionally harm our loved ones. Whether out of overworked frustration, retaliation, or from attempt to seek personal gain, these types of betrayal are always unacceptable.
- Physical abuse includes inflicting or threatening in inflict physical pain or injury or deprivation of a basic need. This is commonly seen out of unjustified restraint of residents.
- Emotional abuse occurs when verbal or nonverbal acts are used to harm a patient psychologically. This may include threats, humiliation, yelling, or ignoring the patient.
- Sexual abuse includes not only unwanted sexual conduct, but also forcing residents to be exposed to pornography.
- Financial Exploitation can occur through stealing patient property, defrauding the patient, billing for unprovided medical services, identity theft, and other similar crimes. This is both possible and appalling due to the caregiver’s position of power over the vulnerable resident.
Consequences of Nursing Home Negligence
Nursing home neglect and abuse can diminish your loved one’s health and happiness. In some instances, a nursing home’s negligence may even end your loved one’s life.
A failure to move the patient or clean the patient may lead to bed sores. A failure to keep the patient or facility clean may lead to the spread of disease. A failure to properly give medication may leave a patient without vital treatment. Thousands of residents suffer each year from dehydration or malnutrition.
Falls are alarmingly common in nursing homes. Two-thirds of senior citizen accident deaths occur due to falls. Up to 75% of nursing home residents fall each year resulting in 1,800 fall-related injuries. Many of these falls could be avoided through proper supervision, assisting the patient as needed, or by managing fall hazards.
While the potential consequences of negligence are practically endless, the underlying principle remains the same. The nursing home or assisted living facility has the responsibility to take reasonable steps to keep your loved one safe. If it fails to live up to this duty, it may be held liable for the consequences your loved one endured.
Warning Signs of Neglect or Abuse
Oftentimes, our loved ones suffer in silence because no one notices their peril. Most nursing home neglect and abuse goes unreported. Perhaps nursing home residents are embarrassed, timid, think their treatment is normal, or no one is willing to take them seriously. In order to protect your loved ones, it is important to remain vigilant and long for warning signs that something may be wrong. Your loved one’s health or life might depend upon it.
Red flags for abuse or neglect include the following:
- Poor hygiene
- Unsanitary conditions
- Inattentive staff
- Lack of communication
- Significant weight loss
- Strange behavior chances
- Unexplained bruises and cuts
- Indications that medication is not being properly administered (such as too many or not enough in the bottle)
- Unexplained or unnecessary restraints
- Disappearance of personal property
You should always be vigilant and watch for warning signs in order to protect your loved one. If you or a loved one has exhibited warning signs of abuse or neglect, you should act swiftly to ensure that your loved one is safe.
If your loved one has been harmed through nursing home abuse or neglect, you should contact a Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Attorney. A lawsuit can hold the healthcare providers accountable and get the compensation your loved one deserves. The skilled and compassionate attorneys at Ray Gupta & Associates will work tirelessly to discover the truth and hold wrongdoers responsible.
WHAT TYPES OF NURSING HOME CASES DO WE HANDLE?
Nursing home abuse and negligence can happen in many different ways. We help people and families injured in nursing homes, and those wrongfully killed in neglect and abuse cases involving nursing home negligence.
We help victims and families with these nursing home claims:
- Clogged Breathing Tubes
- Elder abuse
- Financial Exploitation
- Improper Use of Restraints
- Medication / Prescription Errors
- Physical / Chemical Restraints
- Physical / Sexual Assault or Abuse
- Pressure Ulcers
- Verbal Abuse
- Wrongful Death
Bed Sores | Pressure Sores | Pressure Ulcers & Nursing Home Neglect
A very common nursing home neglect issue in 2017 involves improper care to residents causing pressure ulcers – also known as pressure sores or bedsores. Pressure ulcer lawsuits occur daily. Nursing home facilities do a poor job to prevent the development of pressure ulcers. You can learn more about pressure ulcers at Mayo Clinic. Bedsores are caused when there is unrelieved pressure to the skin. They occur most frequently to areas of the body where bone and skin are very close in contact, such as the hips, back, elbow, ankles, and heels – please see below. These sores can lead to many medical complications and can even cause death. Specifically these pressure sores can cause cancer, cellulitis, infections and sepsis. In order to help prevent bedsores, there a number of activities that should be done daily. If you or your loved one has suffered from pressure sores because of the negligence of a nursing home, an experienced nursing home abuse lawyer can help you. You can learn more about pressure sores at our Nursing Home & Hospital Pressure Sores page.
Nursing Home Residents Have Rights
You can learn more – here.
People have the right to be free from abuse and neglect. People have the right to be free of restraints (physical & chemical), the right to choose their own physician, the right to have their own clothes and personal belongings in their room, the right to leave and be discharged when the wish, the right to make grievances when civil rights are being violated, the right to make decisions and manage ones finances, the right to make decisions about medical care, etc.
It is important that you continually monitor and examine your loved ones to make sure that adequate care is given.
You can learn more about elder fraud, neglect and abuse at the Elder Abuse & Neglect – Helpguide.org
They offer tips for: Warning Signs – Risk Factors – Prevention and Reporting Abuse
DID YOU OR A LOVED ONE SUFFER DUE TO NURSING HOME ABUSE, NEGLECT OR NEGLIGENCE?
We have the background and experience to determine whether abuse, neglect or negligence within a nursing home facility occurred. We will help you develop a plan that gives you the best chance at a good outcome. This frequently includes getting the medical records and details quickly, and having those records reviewed by medical experts. If you believe that you may have been the victim of nursing home abuse, neglect or negligence, and our investigation supports this, our firm can help get you and your loved ones the compensation you need and deserve to help offset all of your harms, losses and damages.
Contact a Chicago Nursing Home Neglect and Abuse Attorney Today
If you believe that your nursing home facility has committed abuse, neglect or negligence to you, or a loved one, call Ray Gupta & Associates. We help people and families throughout Illinois and Indiana. Please contact us to schedule a free consultation with an experienced lawyer. Cases are taken on a contingency fee basis, which means that you owe us nothing unless your claim is successful and results in compensation. You pay no fees unless we recover damages for you.