Chicago Nursing Home Dementia Patient Injury Lawyers
Patients with dementia and neurological disorders, including Alzheimer's disease, are often taken advantage of and neglected because the abusers believe that they can attribute any claims of abuse to the victim's condition.
The Chicago nursing home abuse attorneys of Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC believe that any form of neglect or abuse toward our elderly should be subject to swift and strict justice. When we trust others with the care of the people who we love, it always comes with the reasonable expectation that the people caring for them will provide attentive and quality care.
Dementia Patients at Elevated Risk of AbusePatients with dementia are less aware of what is happening to them and may be more susceptible to suggestion. Their vulnerability makes them ideal victims for swindlers after their money.
Some residents with dementia are emotionally or physically abused and then accused of making up lies when they attempt to report the mistreatment. Some of the forms our Illinois nursing home injury lawyers have seen include:
- Nursing home neglect — Whether due to understaffing or inadequate training, some patients with dementia are neglected by their caregivers. When patients suffering from neurological disorders are neglected, they could wander off, harm themselves, or become depressed.
- Physical abuse — There is no excuse for physically abusing an elderly patient. Some patients with dementia have outbursts or mood swings, and caregivers may respond by restraining or threatening the resident. Physical abuse can include excessive restraint and other forms of violence against the victim.
- Sexual abuse — Patients with dementia are at higher risk of being victims of sexual abuse, and the perpetrators could be residents at the same facility, staff members, or visitors. These patients must be adequately supervised to ensure their safety.
- Verbal and emotional abuse — In many cases of neglect or abuse, the abuser will threaten or verbally abuse the victim to keep him or her silent and compliant. This mistreatment can lead to further mood swings, depression, aggressiveness, social withdrawal, outbursts, and changes in sleeping habits.
- Financial abuse — Patients with dementia are at a much higher risk of suffering from financial abuse than any other type of nursing patient. The abuser will take advantage of their confusion and obtain information needed to steal from the victim.
Nursing Home Dementia Claims and Awards
$500,000 Illinois Settlement; Nursing Home Dementia Accident
This Illinois nursing facility case was brought after an elderly woman fell down and injured herself. She was in her middle eighties and suffered from dementia before these events.
One day, during lunch, the nursing home facility staff left her by herself. When she got up and walked around without any assistance, she fell and hurt her head. She was cut across her scalp from a piece of metal. Doctors discovered the fall caused a brain hemorrhage that led to her death.
The event incurred about $60,000 of medical bills. The woman's children paid for her funeral and burial expenses and were left with the pain of her passing. The adult children filed a civil lawsuit against the nursing center to cover their damages.
They sought compensation for economic, emotional, and other losses. To avoid a long and expensive trial, the defendant settled the matter for a reported $500,000.
$625,000 Illinois Settlement; Nursing Home Dementia Fall Accident
The 84-year-old victim with dementia lived in an Illinois nursing facility. The facility staff did not implement a bed alarm or other warning feature so that she could quickly call for help.
Consequently, when needing the washroom one night, she got up and tried to help herself after calling for help. The staff thought that she would have called them with their lighting system, but she did not.
She fell down and broke her trochanter, near the thigh bones. Later, her representatives claimed that the injuries from this event caused or contributed to her subsequent passing. They sought damages for negligence and wrongful death.
The defendant replied that she did not use the systems as they designed. However, this was hard to maintain because she had a cognitive decline. When pressed on this point, the defendant demurred. Then, it agreed to settle. The plaintiffs obtained a reported $625,000.
$700,000 Chicago Settlement; Nursing Home Dementia Neglect Case
In this case, the elderly home resident fell on several occasions. She was ninety years old and lived at a long-term care facility in Illinois because she had dementia and other health problems.
Representatives of the woman claimed that she fell eight or nine times over four years. They attributed these accidents to a lack of supervision and resources from the nursing facility as well as her apparent mental handicap.
On her last fall, she broke her femur and required surgery and then rehabilitation. However, she died roughly three months later. When lawyers for the estate eventually brought a lawsuit for this case, they had several claims against the facility.
They alleged that due to negligent care, she lived a worse quality of life, racked up more medical bills, and died sooner than she otherwise would have. They charged the defendant (nursing center) with responsibility for these harms and sought compensation. In the end, the facility paid the plaintiffs a reported amount of $700,000 in a private settlement.
$972,000 Illinois Verdict; Nursing Home Dementia Neglect Accident
This Illinois elder home neglect dispute was different because the resident was somewhat healthy for so long. By all accounts, she lived accident-free in the same facility for over ten years despite suffering from such conditions as dementia, depression, and others.
However, one day in her early nineties, she fell down while unsupervised. Due to the neglect, the staff did not notice her until the early hours of the morning. Her blood was all around her, and they sent her to the hospital at once.
Doctors found bruising, broken vertebra, and a hematoma. Due to her age, they recommended not performing surgery. Instead, they prescribed long-term palliative (comfort) measures and rehabilitation. She died less than a day later.
Her family brought a suit on her behalf. The nursing facility vigorously defended its side in court, arguing that this fall was not their fault and that they did everything by the book.
Yet, jurors awarded the plaintiffs almost one million dollars for the loss of life, lost society, grief, suffering, disfigurement, pain, emotional trauma, and wrongful death.
What You Can Do
It is within every family member's right to investigate any incident you believe could be the result of neglect or abuse. The Illinois Nursing Home Care Act was passed to protect a vulnerable nursing facility patient's rights to be free of mistreatment. These rights include managing personal finances, rights to personal property, rights to medical care, and the refusal of medical treatment.
You might believe that your loved one is the victim of elder home negligence or abusive behavior. Some of the signs of mistreatment that require investigation include.
- Your loved one shows physical signs of abuse, like bruises or marks on his or her wrists, ankles, arms, or genitals.
- Your loved one suffers from sudden mood swings, which are not typical of previous behavior (possible psychological abuse).
- Your loved one accused a staff member or resident of physical, verbal, or sexual abuse (possible elder abuse).
- Your loved one is suddenly silent when a caregiver or other resident is present (possible home abuse).
- Nurse aides fail to provide elderly residents with adequate supervision that leads to elopement (wandering away) from the home facility.
- The home facility staff takes photographs or videos of an older adult and shares it on social media (possible home negligence or psychological abuse).
- Disabled home residents and older adults at the home facility develop preventable bedsores because staff did not satisfy the patient's medical needs.
Illinois Department of Public Health is responsible for ensuring that every nursing facility complies with the Illinois Nursing Home Care Act in the state and Chicago area.
The government agency offers access to a twenty-four-hour hotline (800) 252-4343 to receive complaints and hear concerns by family members, friends, and visitors of patients in nursing facilities.
The Alzheimer's Association encourages family members and visitors to speak up about the resident's rights in a nursing facility and participate in their care. If you are concerned that negligence and abuse are occurring, gather as much evidence and information as feasible and write down the location, time, and date where the incident occurred.
Talk to the Administrator and ask what steps will be taken immediately to ensure the patient remains safe going forward. Finally, speak to a senior home abuse attorney who can help take legal action to stop the mistreatment now.
Hiring a Nursing Home Dementia Patient Injury Attorney
The experienced Chicago neglect attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC can help you determine whether your loved one is a victim of senior home neglect or abuse.
Our award-winning firm has successfully represented hundreds of victims of negligent or abusive behavior. We can ensure that the facility and caregivers tasked with providing your loved one's care are held responsible for their actions.
Contact our home abuse lawyers at (888) 424-5757 today to arrange a free consultation with one of our highly qualified Chicago elder home abuse attorneys. Let us take immediate action to stop the home abuse now. We will help you identify the signs of abuse, launch a thorough investigation into the matter, and review all your legal options.
If we believe that your loved one is the victim of abuse, our legal team will assist you in removing him or her from the harmful environment. We will aggressively pursue compensation from the negligent facility. If we are unable to recover compensation on your behalf, our services will be free of charge.