Almost 4,000 families, or 15,335 people, live in Bridgeview, Illinois, which has billed itself as a well-balanced community. Life in Bridgeview, a town with a rectangular shape, centers around the mayor’s office at 7500 S. Oketa Avenue. Although it is often referred to as a village instead of a city, the town has become known as the home of the Chicago Fire, a Major League Soccer team that plays its home games at the Toyota Park stadium. It is equally known for its rich Arab American culture that stretches along Harlem Avenue. Arab grocers, hookah lounges, a mosque, a bank and restaurants remind everyone of Arab cultures around the world.
It would not seem that a town so intimate and quaint would have a need for attorneys to help combat nursing home abuse. Any Bridgeview personal injury lawyer, however, could quote the statistics for the number of incidents that happen across the country and the state of Illinois. Although the laws against abuse and neglect of elders have increasingly become tougher over time, these laws still have not been able to reduce occurrences to nearly nonexistent.
What Is Being Done About Abuse?
One of the measures the state of Illinois has taken to counter nursing home abuse has been the Long-term Care Ombudsman program. This program trains family, friends, volunteers and other nursing home residents to properly document abuse instances and report them to the Department of Public Health in Illinois. Based on the severity of the offense, citations for abuse are classed as Type A, Type B, Repeat Type A and Repeat Type B.
It is rarely easy to think about a facility having repeated violations of the same kind of abuse, but according to an Illinois Department of Public Health report it does happen. In 2007, there were seven Repeat B violations and two Repeat A violations. The state performed much better in 2008 with no repeat violations. In 2009, violations move to three for Repeat B and one for Repeat A. This trend shows that reporting violations combined with the threat of losing a facility license does prompt nursing home operators to improve their service to residents. However, an ease in monitoring might allow for an ease in good care.
What Constitutes Nursing Home Abuse?
It is fair to say that not all nursing home abuse occurs because of willful neglect. Sometimes, there may be such a large number of residents in a nursing home that the staff cannot give ample time to care for each person. This is still neglect, and there are things that family members should watch to help monitor for abuse.
The most obvious incident that might raise a red flag is a sudden death. If visits to a loved one have not revealed any indication that the loved one was near death, it is a good idea to make inquiry. Other things to watch for include: rapid weight loss or weight gain, over-medication, bruises or scratches, bed sores, sudden changes in mood or behavior, and any signs of extreme hunger or dehydration.
Watching the workers can also give clues. Hostile caregivers are likely to take out their frustrations on the residents they serve. It is important to make note of any severe attitudes among staff and watch what they do with all the people to whom they provide care. Hostility can be very telling. A Bridgeview personal injury lawyer can help determine how best to deal with this kind of aggression.Contact a Bridgeview Personal Injury Attorney, Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC
When talking to a Bridgeview personal injury lawyer about nursing home abuse, it is important to know what kind of questions to ask. First, it is a good idea to find out what kind of damages a family can receive compensation for when filing a suit. Generally, damages can be recouped for medical expenses, emotional pain and suffering, physical injuries including those that lead to disability, quality of life loss and any out-of-pocket expenses a family incurs because of the abuse. Damages are not limited to these categories, but this is a good overview of what claimants can expect as grounds for a legal action.
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