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It is a sad fact that Illinois has more nursing home abuse cases than any other state in the country. Clearly, nursing home abuse is rampant throughout the state and when it occurs, the most vulnerable sector of society suffers serious harm. Elderly nursing home residents do not recover as quickly from serious injuries as younger generations. Due to the fact that their health is often already in quite a frail state, the injuries nursing home residents suffer are also usually very serious. If your loved one has been hurt by abuse, our team of experienced attorneys can help with your case. 

Why are Nursing Homes in Illinois the Worst in the Country? 

Determining why nursing homes in Illinois are worse than any other state in the country is complex. The reason for the negligence and abuse that happens in nursing homes is largely due to the fact that a number of facilities in the state are for-profit businesses. These companies prioritize their profits over the care of patients. 

Nursing home owners and administrators often make poor choices when prioritizing their profits. They may reduce staff levels to lower their payroll, ignore reports of abuse and neglect, and hire inexperienced staff members and fail to train them. These are all unethical practices and they create a number of negative effects within long-term care facilities. 

Signs of Nursing Home Abuse 

Nursing home residents do not always have the mental capacity to understand that abuse is happening. Even when they do, they are often too embarrassed or ashamed to come forward about the abuse. Due to this, it is critical that their loved ones understand the signs to watch for so they can put a stop to it when it occurs. Common signs of nursing home abuse include: 

  • Unexplained slip and falls: When necessary, nursing home staff members should help residents with movement. If a resident is falling regularly, it may mean that they are being neglected. Additionally, staff members may drop residents while handling them improperly and claim that the senior fell. 
  • Unexplained injuries: If your family member has an injury and the nursing home staff members are vague about how it occurred, it may be a sign of abuse. 
  • Incorrect or missing medication: Medication errors are very common in nursing homes. When medication is missing or is not managed properly, nursing homes should take the issue very seriously but they often do not. 
  • Bedsores: Nursing home patients often have to stay in bed or in a wheelchair for a long period of time. If staff members do not regularly reposition them, elderly patients can develop bedsores, which are very harmful. 
  • Malnourishment and dehydration: Chapped lips, dry skin, and sudden weight loss are all signs of malnourishment and dehydration. Malnourishment and dehydration often occur due to overworked staff members who do not provide food and water in a timely manner. 
  • Sexually transmitted diseases: While no one wants to think about it, sexual abuse can  occur in nursing homes. If your loved one has contracted an STD, it may be a sign of abuse. 
  • Changes to legal or financial documents: Financial abuse is also very common in nursing homes. If your loved one has recently changed their will, power of attorney, or other legal or financial documents, it could be a sign of abuse. This is particularly true if the changes benefit someone in the nursing home. 

The Laws on Nursing Home Abuse 

In an effort to prevent nursing home abuse from happening, legislators have enacted many state and federal laws. The U.S. Nursing Home Reform Act protects the physical, mental, and psychological health of residents in nursing homes. It defines terms such as ‘quality of life’ and ‘skilled care’ so there is no confusion about the care nursing homes should provide. 

The Illinois Nursing Home Care Act governs long-term care facilities in the state. The laws within the Act regulate all licensed facilities and provide residents with legal rights that are clearly defined. The IDPH Bureau of Long-Term Care makes sure facilities comply with the laws in the Act and they also conduct certification surveys to make sure nursing homes receiving Medicare or Medicaid comply with federal law. 

What Rights are Granted to Nursing Home Residents? 

Nursing home residents in Illinois have many rights. These include the right to: 

  • Manage their own financial affairs, 
  • Retain and use their own personal property, 
  • Privacy, including mail, telephone calls, and in-person visits that are not disrupted or interfered with, 
  • Be free of physical and chemical restraints, 
  • Conduct authorized electronic monitoring in their room, 
  • See their own healthcare term at their own expense or through their health insurance, 
  • Refuse medical treatment and to understand the consequences of refusing treatment, 
  • Have access to their medical records, and 
  • Be free from discrimination. 

How a Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Can Help 

After learning that your loved one has been a victim of nursing home abuse, you may be tempted to file a claim on your own. However, this is a mistake that could result in the forfeiture of the fair compensation your family member deserves. There are many ways a lawyer can help with your case, including: 

  • Obtain inspection reports from state and federal regulators and analyze them to determine if violations occurred, 
  • Obtain medical records from healthcare providers, 
  • Investigate invoices, billing procedures, and Medicare payments, 
  • Access files and charts from the nursing homes, even when facilities are reluctant to provide them, 
  • Take photos of nursing home conditions, and analyze photos of your loved one’s injuries to determine how the abuse occurred, 
  • Inform you of the standard of care that facilities must meet understand state and federal law, and 
  • Negotiate a settlement or file a lawsuit, depending on your situation. 

Our attorneys will always take you and your family seriously. We are here to provide support and to handle every detail of your claim so you and your family can focus on moving forward after the abuse. 

Call Our Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys in Chicago Today 

If your loved one has suffered harm while in a nursing home, you need sound legal advice. At Kennedy Watkins LLC, our Chicago nursing home abuse attorneys can provide it so your family obtains the full compensation you need. We are available to our clients 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and we will travel across the state to meet with you. To schedule a free consultation, call us today at (312) 448-8181 or contact us online. 


About Nursing Home Abuse Claims in Illinois


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