Dupage County Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers
According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, there are over 1,200 nursing homes in the state. The organization conducts 10,000 inspections and surveys each year. There is a 24-hour hotline for complaints, and that IDPH line received over 19,000 calls last year. There were 5,000 complaints filed. Some of the complaints filed with the organization were related to nursing home abuse. Elderly nursing home residents are often abused by financial exploit, physical assault or neglect.
Is Nursing Home Abuse Avoidable?
Unfortunately, even the nicest and most expensive facilities may make mistakes when hiring staff. One abusive caregiver can traumatize many elderly residents or take their money. The IDPH provides a written guide on its site for selecting a good nursing home. While following the guide can reduce the risk of choosing a low-quality home, it cannot prevent abuse from happening. Choosing a nursing home that is not understaffed is a good way to lower the risk of an elderly loved one being neglected. However, neglect sometimes happens in homes with ample staff. Since abuse and neglect are not completely avoidable, everyone must know how to watch for signs of ill treatment and how to report their concerns.
Signs Of Nursing Home Abuse
Since the signs of abuse can also be signs of depression, medication effects and dementia, identifying abuse only by in-person observation can be difficult. These are some signs to watch for in elderly loved ones:
- Skin tears or bruises
- Withdrawal from activities
- Mood swings
- Noticeable fear of a specific caregiver
- Frequent and sudden crying
- Lingering body odor
In severe cases of abuse, a person may have broken or fractured bones. There may be large lacerations or burns. In some instances, elderly people have had throat marks that indicate a choking attempt. Since most elderly people who can communicate will not talk about abuse out of shame or fear of retaliation, they suffer for long periods before someone helps. Also, some people who are abused are unable to form coherent sentences due to age-related illnesses.
Where To Find Advocates For Nursing Home Abuse Victims
Anyone who sees an elderly person being abused in a nursing home has a duty to report the incident. Suspected abuse must also be reported. If you see a loved one being abused, contact our nursing home abuse lawyers. The Illinois Elder Abuse and Neglect Act was passed in the late 1980s to protect all elderly individuals in skilled-care facilities and in private settings.
At Zayed Law Offices, our attorneys have handled many types of elder abuse cases with causes such as inadequate staffing, physical assault, sexual assault, financial abuse and more. We know the right local agencies to contact to report suspected or confirmed abuse. A qualified agency can perform an investigation. If there is reason to investigate further, a judge will issue an order of protection for your loved one while the investigation is open. When abuse is confirmed, the judge has expansive discretion for deciding disciplinary actions.
Abusing an elderly person through neglect, physical harm or financial harm is a criminal offense. When you report criminal caregivers, you help remove them from the environment and take away their privilege to be trusted with caring for vulnerable people. In addition to helping a loved one, you may be helping many other suffering elders. Investigations often uncover additional forms of abuse or negligence. For example, a nursing home may not be training staff to use a lift correctly, and they may frequently drop residents. The residents may get bruises, fractures or broken bones. Also, some facilities have careless medication distributors. Frequent medication errors can put the health of your loved one at risk. A diabetic missing an insulin dose or a resident receiving a different person’s medications are dangerous errors.
Let our compassionate attorneys help your loved one seek compensation for injuries and damages. Please contact us for a free consultation if you live in Illinois. We are here to discuss your concerns and contact the appropriate investigative agencies if necessary.