No one ever expects to become a victim of nursing home abuse and neglect. After all, these facilities are supposed to be safe havens for our loved ones – places where they can receive the best possible care.
- Senior Demographics for Rockford, Illinois
- Is the Rising Trend of Abuse and Nursing Home Neglect Unstoppable?
- The Warning Signs of Nursing Home Negligence and Abuse
- Know Your Loved One’s Rights
- How a Lack of Supervision Claims Nursing Home Lives
- Hiring A Rockford Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer to Resolve Your Compensation Case
Sadly, this is not always the case. Thousands of seniors are abused and neglected yearly in nursing homes, often with devastating consequences.
When you need legal assistance to help with your injury case, the nursing home abuse attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC are the place for legal advice.
In addition, we offer free consultations to discuss how they’ll work on your behalf and what compensation may be available if any of these injuries were caused by mistreatment at nursing homes.
Contact a Rockford personal injury lawyer at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) or use the contact form to schedule a free consultation today. All confidential or sensitive information you share with our legal team remains private through an attorney-client relationship.
Senior Demographics for Rockford, Illinois
The senior community represents a significant portion of Rockford’s population, and the city is home to over 21,000 65 years or older residents. An additional 5,000 residents are between 60-64 and nearing retirement.
Competition often breeds quality, as competitors must provide the best service possible to attract patients into their nursing homes. Still, finding the right caregiving home for your loved ones can be difficult and frustrating.
Illinois has witnessed an epidemic in recent years of nursing home neglect and abuse cases, many resulting in lawsuits.
Nursing home abuse and neglect exist in multiple forms and are not always the result of direct physical abuse. Instead, there are numerous factors to consider that may be symptoms of elder nursing home neglect.
When reviewing any case, a northeast Illinois nursing home abuse attorney will consider the facility’s history and whether any of the following factors may have resulted in harm to your loved one:
- Environmental safety: A poor environment can result from clutter that poses a fall or tripping risk, poor maintenance of the grounds, or improper measures to sanitize living quarters.
- Improper administration of medicine: When a nursing center is understaffed, additional pressure is placed on caregivers who must divide their time between more patients daily. A lack of staff can result in medication errors and severe interactions or complications.
- Evidence of physical, emotional, or sexual abuse: While many elder nursing home neglect cases are attributed more heavily to policy rather than direct acts by caregivers, some incidents of direct sexual abuse in which a staff member will assault the patient. Physically abusive behavior is unacceptable, and the offenders must be brought to justice.
- Unexplained injuries: All close family members must be notified when an elderly patient has a strange injury, such as a fractured hip, brain damage, spinal cord damage, or any other medical issue that needs treatment.
The overall star rating of Medicare.gov will assist you in making a more informed decision on whether to place your loved one in a care facility or relocate them due to ongoing nursing home neglect or abuse.
Is the Rising Trend of Abuse and Nursing Home Neglect Unstoppable?
According to The National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA), one out of every ten elders experiences elder abuse. Still, cases go largely unreported because most victims are unable or afraid to report their abusers.
A study by the National Research Council in 2019 reported that around four percent of elderly adults in nursing homes and other residential facilities were physically abused by a staff member, while another eight percent suffered neglect.
The Warning Signs of Nursing Home Negligence and Abuse
Nursing home negligence happens daily across the country. Sadly, it is often too late before most people realize something is wrong.
Therefore, tackling nursing home abuse and neglect starts with recognizing the common signs of mistreatment.
Take action immediately if you identify the critical signs that your loved one suffered abuse or neglect. Common warning signs that your loved one is being abused or neglected include:
- Unexplained bruising: Any unexplained burns, bruises, bumps, rashes, or other skin conditions, could be an indicator of abuse
- Overmedication: Some elder abuse includes when caregivers over-sedate their residents to make them more manageable, freeing up the caregivers’ time or lumps under the skin–these could be indicative of bedsores, which are often a sign of nursing home neglect
- Poor hygiene: If your loved one is repeatedly dirty and smelly, they may not receive proper care at the nursing center.
- Facility-acquired bedsores: Nearly every facility-acquired pressure sore can be prevented with proper skincare, routine skin assessment, and treatment to resolve medical issues. Many medical malpractice cases are based on injuries resulting from facility-acquired pressure wounds.
- Emotional abuse: Residents show emotional distress when verbally abused, humiliated, or ostracized.
- Signs of sexual abuse: Sadly, nursing home abuse can be in the form of sexual abuse, and it is a common occurrence, especially when a staff member, employee, another resident, or visitor inappropriately or sexually touches the patient or other elderly nursing home residents without their consent
- Unexplained withdrawal from social situations: If your disabled or elderly loved one becomes less social and shows signs of emotional trauma by withdrawing from friends and family members, it could signal that something is wrong.
If you notice any signs of elder abuse in your loved one’s life, either when you visit them or review progress reports regularly, immediately report a nursing home neglect or abuse to the proper authorities.
Our nursing home abuse attorneys can hold the facility accountable by filing a personal injury claim. We have helped many victims hurt by nursing home abuse and neglect.
Know Your Loved One’s Rights
According to the Nursing Home Reform Act of 1987, every patient, resident, or individual in a nursing center, assisted living facility, community home, or rehab center has legal rights. The act is comprised of numerous legal rights that include the right to:
- Access to social services
- Physical, mental, and emotional well-being
- Spend time with family, friends, and visitors
- Receive quality care in a safe and clean environment
- Be free from physical or chemical restraints used for discipline or convenience and not in the interest of safety.
Under laws like the Nursing Home Reform Act of 1987, abusers can face fines up to $100,000 per offense; this includes individuals, owners, management staff members, nurses, doctors, and all other employees working directly or indirectly at any healthcare facility.
The first step in ensuring that your loved ones do not become victims of nursing home negligence is learning about their rights under federal and state laws and finding ways to exercise them.
All Rockford nursing home facilities must make a policy manual readily available. Read it; it will tell you what kind of care your loved ones can expect from their caregivers and how you can file a complaint if necessary.
How a Lack of Supervision Claims Nursing Home Lives
When you place your loved one in a nursing center, they entrust their care to the staff.
According to the National Institute of Health, a lack of supervision of nursing home patients can lead to catastrophic injuries and wrongful death. In addition, many residents become the victims of preventable injuries because of understaffing, a lack of supervision, or elder abuse.
Nursing home residents reside in the facility to receive assistance with daily activities like grooming, bathing, toileting, and eating. In addition, most are there to receive medical care at the highest level to ensure their well-being is optimized.
Unfortunately, a lack of supervision could lead to physical and emotional abuse, including:
- Slip and falls resulting in broken hips, bones, bruises, and lacerations
- Elopement occurs when a confused or disoriented patient wanders away from their room, area, or nursing center, trips and falls when a patient has a gait or walker issue
- Exposure to medication errors that can lead to severe medical reactions due to their compromised health status, like wandering, which can lead to falls or exhaustion if they become lost
- Physical abuse by staff or other residents
- Sexual abuse, including molestation and rape
- Emotional neglect due to the absence of needed care related to their mental status
The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) is an agency within the US Department of Health and Human Services that has developed a Minimum Data Set (MDS) tool. The MDS is an observational tool utilized in nursing homes across America to track everything from the care provided and lack of supervision.
Were you victimized by nursing home abuse or neglect? Nursing home abuse attorneys can hold the caregiving facility accountable for the mistreatment.
Hiring A Rockford Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer to Resolve Your Compensation Case
Were you or a family member injured from nursing home negligence or abuse, or did you lose a loved one through a wrongful death caused by a failure to provide proper medical care or assistance? Our nursing home abuse lawyers at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC can ensure you receive maximum compensation for your damages.
Contact our personal injury law firm at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone call) or use the contact form to discuss your legal options to seek justice and compensation during a free consultation.
Our experienced lawyers accept all personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis.
This promise ensures you pay nothing until we resolve your nursing home negligence claim through a negotiated settlement or jury award.