In many ways, assisted living centers are the gateway between independent living and full nursing care facilities. Although residents at assisted living centers have more independence and are generally in better health than nursing homes, they still depend on the caregivers at the facility for many of their needs. It is this reliance that can put many elderly living in these facilities at risk of injury, neglect and even abuse by poorly managed assisted care centers. The Chicago assisted living injury attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC are committed to holding facilities in Illinois responsible for the injury they cause to their residents.
Safe Environment Required for Illinois Assisted Living Residents
Assisted living centers are required to provide a safe environment for their residents and protect them from harm. Many of the elderly that live in these facilities have deteriorating health and may become increasingly dependent on the caregivers to protect them from injury. When staff is negligent in monitoring their patients and their changing needs, accidents can happen. Some injuries that may occur in an assisted living facility are:
- Falls. Elderly people over 65 years of age are highly susceptible to injury from falls. According to the CDC, 1 out of 3 older adult falls each year, with over 19,000 having fatal injuries from falls in 2009. Assisted living centers must provide a safe environment that prevents these deadly falls.
- Malnutrition. If residents are not given proper nutrition their health will be affected. Many elderly have specific diet needs that must be met to ensure they are getting the nutrition they need.
- Supervision. Although assisted living is not full nursing care, they still have a responsibility to supervise their residents. When there is inadequate staff to monitor and supervise residents, injuries may occur that could have been prevented.
Abusive Conditions Commonly Found in Assisted Living Facilities in Illinois
Unfortunately, abuse is all too common at assisted living centers. Although those who live in these facilities may be more mobile and have better cognitive function than those in a nursing home, they are still easy targets for abuse and neglect. These care facilities have an obligation to keep their residents safe from abuse and neglect from staff and caregivers. Types of abuse and neglect that can occur are:
- Physical. Using physical force to hurt or discipline residents should never be tolerated.
- Emotional. Harassing, bullying and emotionally abusing residents can be just as destructive as any other kind of abuse.
- Sexual. Assisted living centers have a responsibility to protect those under their care from sexual abuse both from workers and other residents.
- Financial. An increasingly common abuse of the elderly is financial abuse. These facilities need to protect those who depend on them from workers that steal and embezzle money and identities.
- Neglect. Those who live in assisted living still may have some independence but do require assistance. Neglecting their nutritional, medical or personal hygiene should never be tolerated.
Claims and Awards Against Assisted Living Facilities in Illinois
$400,000 Settlement; Assisted Living Malpractice; Chicago, Illinois
The resident of this Illinois assisted living center was eighty-four. He had been a resident of the assisted living facility for a considerable period of time. During that time, doctors diagnosed and treated him for a number of serious health issues. For instance, he had deep vein thrombosis in his lower legs. This required injections of Lovenox be given directly to his abdomen. However, on one occasion, the nurse administering the shot injected the medication into his muscle. This caused a number of complications. He developed hematoma in his abdomen. He started bleeding profusely. He went into shock. Then, he passed away not long after this chain of events. Lawyers for the man’s estate brought an action against the facility. They sought compensation for his pain, untimely death, and expenses. They argued that the negligent administration of the medicine was the reason why he died. Therefore, the Illinois assisted living facility should pay damages. In the end, the two sides reached an agreement to settle for $400,000.
$175,000 Settlement; Assisted Living Neglect; Chicago, Illinois
This dispute involved neglect, malnutrition, and dehydration at a Chicago-area assisted living center. The victim was a woman in her early eighties. She had dementia. She entered the care center because she required day-to-day help. Staff helped her eat, change, and wash. She lived at this facility over a period of roughly five years. However, at some point during this time, it appears that she was not getting the help that she needed. She lost over ten pounds. Also, she suffered from the effects of dehydration and malnutrition. Her medical bills alone were nearly $5,000 just to bring her back to good spirits. She still sustained long-term damage. For that and similar losses, she sued the assisted living facility. She sought compensation for the harm that the center’s neglect caused her. Prior to the end of the case, the two sides decided to wrap up the matter. She received $175,000 in settlement compensation.
$450,000 Settlement; Assisted Living Neglect; Chicago, Illinois
The plaintiff in this controversy was nearly ninety years old and suffering from dementia. She had been living in and out of assisted-care facilities for a long time. On the day in question here, she was walking around the center. She went outside and strolled along the fence. A part of the fencing was not secured. The landscapers left some of it bare for people to walk up to. When she did that, she fell down and injured herself. She broke her a rib bone and her left hip. These required immediate care and then long-term rehabilitation. Even then, she was stuck with the bills, future suffering, and disability. She sued the assisted living facility. Through her counsel, she argued that it was negligent of them to leave her unattended due to her mental handicap. Also, she complained that the center as well as the landscaping company should have better secured the fencing. She suffered several economic and non-economic damages as a result. She stated in court documents that they should pay for that because of their negligence. They ended up doing so. She got a combined $450,000 settlement from the pair.
$317,500 Settlement; Assisted Living Fall Case; Stark County, Illinois
This controversy arose in an assisted living center in Stark County, Illinois when a 92-year-old woman got stuck between her bed and her nightstand. The incident left her with compressional asphyxia. She eventually died. She was only survived by one of her children, a son. Lawyers for the woman complained that the assisted living center could not give her the requisite care she needed due to her declining health. Further, they thought that the assisted living center should have transferred the woman to another facility with better equipment and personnel. Also, they alleged that the center did not realize the risk of entrapment that the woman faced because of the setup of the furniture in her room. For all of these errors, the plaintiffs sought compensation from the defendant assisted living facility. The defendant center offered to settle, and the plaintiffs agreed. They received $317,500.Legal Help for Those Mistreated at Assisted Living Facilities in Chicago, Illinois
No one deserves to be treated poorly or be injured while under the care of an assisted living facility. If you or a family member has been abused, neglected or injured while living at one of these centers, you may be able to receive compensation for these transgressions. Talk with a trusted law firm before you consider discussing your situation with an insurance company or representative from a facility. Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC has represented many families who have members that have been injured while residing at an Illinois assisted living facility.
We offer a free consultation to discuss your case and only charge a fee if we win a financial award for your injury.
Some of the 480 licenses assisted living facility chains within Illinois include:
- Bickford Senior Living
- Brookdale Senior Living
- Cedarhurst Senior Living
- Courtyards Assisted Living
- Morningside Assisted Living
- Silverado Assisted Living
- Sunrise Senior Living
- The Villas Senior Care Communities
Resources for assisted living patients and their families: