Elgin Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
Have you or a loved one been injured in a nursing home? Nursing homes should be safe havens for the elderly, but sometimes these facilities can become dangerous. If your loved one has suffered an injury due to neglect or abuse, you must know what legal options are available.
Are you the victim of elder nursing home abuse? At Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC, our personal injury attorneys are legal advocates for nursing home patients who have been abused, neglected, or mistreated by caregivers or other patients.
Call our Elgin personal injury lawyers at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) or use the contact form today for immediate legal advice and schedule a free consultation. All confidential or sensitive information you share with our legal team remains private through an attorney-client relationship.
Elgin, Illinois, is one of the largest cities in Illinois and is located near the Fox River and between Galena and Chicago.
The city has been home to numerous inventors, educators, and people of great historical significance throughout its history. In addition, its proximity to numerous parks, forest preserves, and bike paths makes the city an attractive destination for local tourists. For decades, Elgin's population has grown from just under 95,000 to over 110,000 of a diverse group of nationalities and cultures.
As elder home abuse lawyers serving Elgin, Illinois, Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC is committed to serving all residents and families that have suffered abuse, neglect, or injury at a skilled nursing facility in the area.
Our Elgin nursing home abuse lawyers welcome the opportunity to discuss your case without any cost or obligation on your part.
Injuries Caused by Improper Care or Neglect at an Elgin Nursing Center
Regardless of how accredited the facility may be, elderly patients may be neglected or become abuse victims. Therefore, it is crucial to understand what types of injuries can result from negligence so that you can seek financial compensation when those caring for your loved ones have failed to perform their duties.
Contact an Illinois continuing care retirement community lawyer if any family member suspects that your loved one is mistreated or suddenly acting differently. Our elder abuse law firm can speak to the entire family about the symptoms of abuse and how you can investigate the matter. Call us for a free consultation.
Common injuries involved in a low health inspection rating that result from poor care and possible elder abuse include:
- Contusions, internal bleeding, and fractures: These injuries are often the result of falls. The elderly have a more difficult time recovering when they have broken a bone or endured bruises to deep tissue. Not every fall can be attributed to poor care. Still, suppose your loved one has fallen. In that case, it is crucial to investigate whether the facility responsible for their care has a history of patient falls that may open the door for an elder home neglect investigation.
- Development of or worsening bedsores: One of the most easily prevented injuries resulting from elder home neglect is the development of bedsores. When blood is cut off to muscle and bone near a joint due to prolonged periods of inactivity, the tissue begins to die, and an open wound develops in later stages. These are painful and embarrassing injuries and can be prevented simply by moving the patient or encouraging activity if they can walk. Sometimes pressure sores result from registered nurse mistakes, reduced nurse staff hours, or not fulfilling the patient's medical needs.
- Disease resulting from unsanitary conditions: It should be unacceptable that any medical institution is allowed to conduct business if pests are present as rodents, insects, and other unwanted organisms carry disease throughout their environment. Improper disposal of garbage and biohazards may also result in the transmission of infections or contagious illnesses.
A Brief History of Elgin, Illinois
Before the Black Hawk war, the city's land belonged to Native Americans, which expelled numerous tribes and captured lands for Union control.
During the war, soldiers frequently marched along the Fox River, and veterans returned home with tales about how rich and fertile the lands were out west. James T. Gifford and his brother Hezekiah heard the stories and set out to find the perfect location for a settlement of their own.
The city was founded along the stagecoach routes that connected Galena and Chicago, and its access to transportation throughout its history would contribute to its steady growth.
The city was established in 1835 and quickly became renowned for its dairy products. Gail Borden founded a condensed milk factory in the city in 1866, and the city had gained notoriety for the butter and milk sent into Chicago.
The dairy industry in the area was eventually eclipsed by the establishment of the Elgin Watch Company, one of the world's largest and most popular watchmakers for many years. Chicago's Union Station bears clocks with the Elgin name to this day, even though the factory ceased production in 1965.
The city has a deep connection with invention and education, contributing to the dairy and watchmaking industries.
The Elgin Academy is the oldest non-sectarian and coed college-prep school in the west, and Elgin's high school educated some of the brightest minds of the twentieth century. Five different navy admirals, a pair of Academy Award-winning producers, a Pulitzer Prize-winning writer, and a Nobel Prize winner are all school graduates.
The inventor of the street sweeper, John Murphy, and Max Adler, the founder of the Adler Planetarium, were city residents. In addition, resident Earl Muntz invented the modern car stereo.
A Growing and Booming Community
Elgin has experienced a significant population boom since 2000, and its population has increased by over 10% in the last 15 years. As a result, Elgin is ranked second in new home closings and first in establishing new properties of the greater Chicago area cities.
Its downtown renovations include developing townhomes and condominiums amid art galleries, a recreation facility, and the Riverside Drive Promenade. Its location is attractive for new family members looking for homes within reach of transportation to the city of Chicago but located near access to parks, preserves, and outdoor activities.
One of the city's parks is home to a herd of bison, and the Poplar Creek Preserve offers access to bike trails and horse riding. Nature preserves, located near the city, offer the opportunity for children to learn about a wide variety of plant life and are host to numerous field trips.
Recreation and the Arts
The area is home to numerous historical sites. In addition, it offers various recreational activities, including a trip to see the Elgin Symphony Orchestra or a chance to listen to an outdoor concert at the Wing Park Bandshell. Numerous performances are held year-round at the Elgin Community College, including musicals, theatrical productions, dance, and comedy shows.
The Hemmens Cultural Center hosts additional shows. The Grand Victoria riverboat casino brought commerce into the city after an economic downturn in the 1980s. Many historic buildings near the casino have been renovated and turned into clubs, restaurants, and tourist attractions to provide additional entertainment to those visiting the casino.
Tourists and residents can also enjoy a trip to the Elgin Public Museum or the Centre of Elgin, one of the largest recreation centers in the United States. The Centre features indoor rock climbing and a water park.
For those looking for even more history, the city is home to many structures from the Victorian era preserved and designated as landmarks. Some belonged to the Elgin Watch Company's high-ranking officials, and there is another section of homes from the Sears Catalog Home era, constructed between 1908 and 1940.
If your rights have been compromised, contact an Elgin nursing home abuse lawyer for a free review of your Elgin elder home abuse case. Click here for more information on the Illinois Department of Public Health, the average number of health citations, and the total number of citations involving nursing home abuse and neglect, including physical abuse and sexual abuse.
Detecting Nursing Home Negligence
The increasing demand for elderly home beds has caused serious problems for nursing home administrators, operators, and caregivers in recent decades. As a result, the standard of care has considerably declined. Improved clinical guidelines, better training programs, and increasing regulations can hardly compensate for inadequately trained staff, lack of critical resources, and poor administration.
The proliferation of nursing home negligence lawsuits seems inevitable because most elder residents are very vulnerable or even helpless to protect themselves. They depend on their caregivers' professional skills mainly for their physical, emotional, and social care.
If a negligent action of the staff causes injuries or trauma, victims may suffer from different problems such as incontinence, diminished self-confidence, disturbed sleep, and loss of appetite.
Negligent acts in nursing facilities often result from a lack of proper training, supervision, or continuing education of caregivers. In many cases, it's a result of poor administration or mismanagement. Here are some common areas where nursing home neglect occurs:
Providing Care to Residents with Dementia
Failure to provide proper supervision and assistance for residents with dementia.
Nursing facilities should provide safe equipment and properly supervise medication to prevent accidents from occurring. Unfortunately, nursing home facilities often fail to do so. For example, clients sometimes have problems with swallowing, which require careful supervision while eating or drinking. If they get choked, suffer from aspiration, or have other accidents requiring immediate help, the resident's life may be in danger.
The nursing facility must develop an effective plan to prevent residents from getting lost if they have dementia and wander off frequently.
Failure To Treat Bedsores and Pressure Ulcers (Decubitus)
Bedsore (pressure ulcer) is a skin condition that develops when constant pressure inhibits blood flow to an area of skin. It's known as a pressure ulcer when it affects the skin on bony areas such as the spine, pelvis, scapulae, or heels. It takes only a few hours before the open wound develops into a severe infection which inflicts unbearable pain and rapidly damages skin and underlying tissue.
Bedsores generally develop because of lack of proper care, and bed rest often results from limited ability to move because of illness, injury, or other health problems. Nursing home staff are supposed to turn and move residents regularly to help them avoid bedsores. However, many senior home facilities often fail to do so, which leads to the formation of these painful wounds.
Continence Care Failure/Incontinence
Incontinence is the uncontrolled loss of bladder or bowel control. Nursing home residents may have incontinence which results from different health conditions.
Eldercare facilities must provide clients with high-quality incontinence care to maintain resident's skin integrity and reduce the risk of infection. It can be done by using protective undergarments, absorbent pads, or a special diet to regain control over bladder functions.
Nursing Home Resident Over-Sedation and Under-Sedation
Over-sedation and under-sedation may cause serious problems for older people because both extremes affect residents' ability to eat, drink or take medications. If a nursing home staff over-sedates a resident, the person's gag reflex becomes depressed, which increases the risk of aspiration. With under-sedation, the resident may not receive enough medication, and as a result, their chronic conditions don't improve.
Failure to Recognize and Respond to The Symptoms of Infection
Caregiving facilities must provide clients with a clean environment to reduce the risk of infection and properly monitor their health status. Unfortunately, many homes fail to do this, which leads to an increased risk of infection.
Residents with limited ability to move may have accidents. Therefore, they must be monitored closely to prevent them from developing into severe problems such as urinary tract infections or constipation.
Failure to Ensure Proper Diet and Hygiene in a Clean Environment
Often senior home facilities fail to provide clients with a proper diet which is very important for older people. Such failures may lead to malnutrition and other serious health problems.
Eldercare facilities must ensure that residents eat and drink the right diet in a clean and safe environment, and they should be able to maintain their hygiene (bath, shave, take care of teeth) if they want to. It's also very important for nursing home staff to check their residents' mouths to ensure that they don't have any mouth sores.
Failure to Perform the Interdisciplinary Assessments Necessary for Individualized Plans of Care
Interdisciplinary assessment collects information from several different sources to plan and provide the highest possible level of care for clients. In other words, it's a process of evaluating the needs, problems, and resources of elderly individuals to provide them with an individualized plan.
Caregiving facilities are required by law to perform these assessments, but they often fail to do it, which results in the development of ineffective care plans for clients.
Failure to Provide Necessary and Adequate Supervision, Assistance, and Support
Nursing home staff are responsible for providing older adults with safe care and supervision. In addition, they must provide them with the necessary assistance and support to always stay healthy.
Unfortunately, many nursing homes fail to do this because they often lack proper training, background knowledge, and skills. As a result, elderly clients who receive poor quality of care are more likely to suffer from falls, malnutrition, dehydration, and other serious health problems.
Failure to Provide Necessary Regular Nurse Supervision and Emergency Care
Nursing home residents must receive regular nurse supervision to ensure that they always receive appropriate care. If caregiver facilities fail to do this, it may cause serious problems because older people may suffer from falls, dehydration, malnutrition, and other health problems.
Senior care facilities are also required to provide proper emergency care to their residents in case of accidents or sudden illness. Failure to do this increases the risk of complications and death for elderly individuals.
Failure to Improve the Quality of Life and Functionality for Clients Resulting in Worse Health and Well-Being
Quality of life and functionality is another important factor when it comes to providing care for elderly individuals. If nursing facilities fail to improve the quality of their clients' lives, they will suffer from worse health and well-being.
Nursing home patients must receive proper care to maintain independence and the ability to perform daily tasks. As a result, they must receive training to learn how to use the bathroom, take care of their hygiene, and perform other basic activities.
Failure to Assist Clients with the Activities of Daily Living (ADLs)
Nursing home patients need assistance with performing certain activities because it's impossible to do everything independently. However, senior care facilities often fail to provide elderly individuals with enough assistance, resulting in independence and self-sufficiency.
Everyday tasks are very important for the quality of life in eldercare facilities, so staff must assist clients when they take a bath or shower or dress properly, groom themselves, use the bathroom, eat, and drink.
Nursing Home Residents Experiencing Weight Loss, Dehydration and Malnutrition
Weight loss, dehydration, and malnutrition are common problems in nursing home facilities because many elderly individuals can't or don't want to take care of their hygiene. As a result, they may suffer from dry skin, dandruff (or even hair loss), bad breath, skin marks, and sores.
In addition, they may also suffer from malnutrition because they don't eat or drink enough, leading to major medical problems such as anemia, osteoporosis, heart diseases, and even death.
Failure to Provide the Necessary Assistance and Care for Skin Conditions Such as Dandruff And Bedsores
Dandruff and bedsores are very common in nursing homes because many elderly individuals can't or don't take care of their hygiene. It may be caused by the lack of assistance, training, or physical disabilities that prevent them from performing everyday tasks.
As a result, many elderly clients develop dandruff or skin lesions on their scalp or skin, which can cause great discomfort, pain, and even serious infections for nursing home patients.
Poor Personal Hygiene Is One of The Main Reasons for Germs and Bacteria Proliferation in Nursing Homes
According to studies, poor personal hygiene is one of the main reasons germs and bacteria proliferate in nursing care facilities. As a result, elderly individuals may suffer from urinary tract infections, diarrhea, and staphylococcus infection (staph).
Accordingly, nursing home patients must take showers at least once every day (and wear clean clothes) to prevent germs and bacteria proliferation. In addition, they must remember to wash their hands frequently with soap and water to prevent the spread of infections.
Not performing preventive and periodic exams may cause nursing home residents to suffer from medical complications such as urinary tract infections, diarrhea, and skin diseases.
Proper preventive care is necessary for elderly individuals in nursing homes because it helps avoid medical complications caused by poor personal hygiene or malnutrition. As a result, nursing home staff must perform periodic exams to check their clients' health conditions.
Making Medication Errors by Administering the Wrong Drug, Wrong Dose, Wrong Time, or to the Wrong Patient
Any problem administering a nursing home resident’s medication could be catastrophic. Nursing home nurses and doctors often prescribe the wrong drug or the wrong dose, leading to adverse reactions.
Hiring the Right Staff Is Another Essential Factor to Increase the Quality of Elderly People's Lives in Nursing Homes
According to studies, hiring the right staff is another essential factor in increasing the quality of older people's lives in nursing homes. Therefore, nursing home administrators must create job descriptions for care workers and social assistants who work at their facilities.
In addition, they must provide training sessions so staff can learn how to assist clients with hygiene tasks, support them when they need help using the bathroom and eat on their own, etc.
Elderly individuals must be assisted by staff when they shower or bathe, which is very important for preventing infections or medical complications that can affect their well-being.
In addition, they should also receive assistance when they are eating, so they don't have to suffer from malnutrition. However, this assistance must be provided by a trained professional who can assist clients with eating safely and cleanly.
Every medical worker or nurse working in a nursing facility should know the main causes of malnutrition, dehydration, and poor personal hygiene among elderly individuals. In addition, they should understand what consequences these causes may cause for nursing home patients.
Nursing Home Abuse Rising Statistics
The results of nursing home abuse can have deadly consequences when caregivers and other residents harm patients. Data released by the National Institute of Health revealed that more than 1,500 patients were abused or had their injury worsened by a caregiver or another resident in 2013.
The data also showed that neglect cases rose to more than 16,000 reported in 2013, two times as many as in 2008. At the same time, the number of incidents involving one patient, such as rape, decreased to 1,824 cases from 3,609 cases in 2008.
- The number of nursing homes decreased by 8 percent from 2000 to 2013.
- Nearly one in five (19%) people over age 65 live alone, and only two-thirds (66%) report living with a family member or friend.
- About 4% of older adults experience elder abuse every year. In addition, a systematic review of studies showed that between 6% and 10% of older adults experience some form of elder mistreatment involving physical or emotional abuse, psychological harm, sexual abuse, neglect, or financial exploitation.
Nursing Home Abuse and Wrongful Death
Do you suspect that your elderly loved one's death was the result of abuse while they were living in a nursing home? Unfortunately, data shows that about 1 in every ten nursing home patients dies from abuse or neglect.
Data shows that nursing home patients most at risk of preventable death include:
- Those with a history of falls, restraints, or medication errors
- Those who refuse treatment or whose behavior is disruptive
- Patients with multiple chronic conditions and lingering pain people under the age of 65
Your loved one must have been injured at a certified long-term care facility to file a nursing home abuse case, including state and federal certified nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and adult care homes.
If your loved one has died due to nursing home abuse or neglect, you should act now to preserve evidence for a possible wrongful death case. To speak with an Elgin nursing home abuse lawyer at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC about filing a long-term care abuse claim or wrongful death lawsuit, call (888) 424-5757 or use the contact form.
Elgin Elder Home Abuse Lawyers Working for You
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC routinely fights for mental, sexual, or physical abuse victims across Illinois, including Lake County, Cook County, and Will County. In addition, we force eldercare facilities to improve the quality of care provided for our elderly.
Our elder abuse law firm believes that education on the issues is an integral part of prevention, but our law firm also believes that negligence should not go unpunished. If you believe that your loved one has been neglected or abused in any way, we would like to hear about your case.
Contact us today to arrange a free legal consultation with one of our Elgin elder home lawyers so that we can gather all the personal information needed to launch an investigation involving your legal issue.
All sensitive or confidential information you share with our legal team remains private through an attorney-client relationship. In addition, we accept all nursing home abuse cases and personal injury claims on a contingency fee basis, meaning you pay nothing until we obtain financial compensation on your behalf through a negotiated settlement or jury award.
Additionally, you can be assured that your Elgin nursing home abuse lawyer will never collect payment for our services unless we can secure fair compensation on your behalf. You will pay all fees at the end of the trial of this case or from a negotiated settlement.