Group homes, also known as adult foster care or personal care homes, are an alternative to larger assisted care facilities for the elderly or otherwise disabled. The concept of these homes seems noble, offering a more “home-like” atmosphere with fewer residents. Unfortunately, these smaller versions of assisted care facilities can be run by individuals that are more concerned with the money they can make from their residents than providing the care that they need.
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC represents people who have been abused and neglected in a group home setting. If your loved one has suffered an injury, contact our Illinois group home abuse lawyers today for a free case review of the circumstances involving the harm. Our attorneys are fully committed to hold group home operators and management companies accountable when a disabled person is injured at their facility. Contact our Chicago law firm for a free case review of your legal rights for a civil claim under Illinois law.
Illinois Group Home Regulation
The idea behind group homes is to provide a residential living environment for a small amount of people with similar issues. This may be elderly persons, developmental disabilities, people with chemical dependency issues or anyone that needs support for daily living. These are not medical facilities but have staff available to help residents with their daily living needs such as meals and personal hygiene.
One of the issues with group homes for the elderly or disabled is the limited regulation that these smaller homes receive. Although they must be licensed and should adhere to similar rules as larger facilities, these homes may only have a few residents, making them less likely to get the same amount of scrutiny. In a small residential group home, there may only be one or two people working at the home, making it easy for abuse to happen and not get reported.
Abuse Of Disabled People In Group Home Environments
These small residential group homes can have owners or staff that become abusive toward their residents, using their position to commit atrocities against those they are paid to care for. Some residents can feel powerless to get away from their abusers and get help from authorities. Some of the types of abuse that may happen in these homes include:
- Physical. Residents of group homes may be subjected to physical abuse such as being struck, restrained or even cut or burned.
- Emotional. Group home staff can be verbally abusive and controlling, causing emotional pain. Residents can become withdrawn and depressed due to the poor treatment they endure.
- Sexual. Sexual predators are drawn to working at facilities like group homes where victims are easily accessible with little supervision and are vulnerable due to age or disability.
- Financial. Residents living in group homes can become victims of financial abuse by their care providers. Caregivers have been known to steal checks, credit cards and even identities of their residents.
Stopping Group Home Abuse in Illinois
It is up to family members and friends to protect their loved ones in group homes from abuse by watching for signs and proactively visiting residents of these homes. Relying on government officials to catch these abusers is unrealistic as some group homes are run without the proper licensing and fall under the radar or even if licensed, are rarely inspected. Family members should be aware of any physical signs of abuse, changes in behavior or suspicious circumstances surrounding financial accounts.
Group home abuse, like all caregiver abuse, can be devastating to both the victim and their families. Abuser deserve to not only be punished but also should be held liable for the damage they cause to their victims, financially, emotionally and physically.
Group Home Claims and Awards
$400,000 Illinois Settlement; Group Home Abuse Lawsuit
This group home controversy involved one of the most common forms of abuse: neglect. It is often because it involves more passive abuse rather than active forms of mistreatment. However, it is abuse nonetheless and its ramifications can be as deadly as any other kind. In this situation, the victim was a middle-aged man. He entered the group home because he had brain injuries and paralysis since birth. He needed around-the-clock care and support. Frankly, what he got was far less than that. As a result, he developed bed sores (also called pressure sores) across his body. Staff where he subsequently received treatment for them counted six in total. Doctors performed surgery to prevent them from worsening (they had already become infected). Then, he was transferred to a rehabilitation facility. Finally, he was discharged and lived with this family. They decided to bring a lawsuit on his behalf. They alleged the Illinois group home was negligent in its care of the man and responsible for the damages that resulted. These harms included his injuries, scarring, bills, and future suffering. The defendant facility offered a reply. However, they knew that the brazen nature of their errors did not bode well in court, especially with such a sympathetic-looking plaintiff/victim. Therefore, they got down to negotiating and the plaintiffs obtained $400,000 of compensation.
Lawsuit Alleges Abuse and Malpractice at Illinois Group Home
The events in this recently-filed case arose out of a group home in central Illinois. The victim was a woman who suffered from multiple physical and mental health problems. She needed care and support on a long-term and professional level. In the court documents, her counsel allege that she was sexually molested and abused by a staff member. Consequently, she got a sexually transmitted disease from the events. Reports differ on the frequency or occurrence of the alleged abuse. However, the lawsuit also made out a claim for malpractice. It stated that facility staff negligently placed a feeding tube down her throat. That error led to significant injury and hospital bills. The outcome of this dispute has not been finalized. However, the cause of action sought compensation for physical injury, emotional trauma, and medical bills among other things. In disputes of this nature, settlement is normally the outcome as defendants attempt to avoid sympathetic juries.
Case Filed in Illinois after Man Kills Roommate in Group Home
This incident took place in a group home not far from Chicago, Illinois. The victim was just thirty years old. He lived at the facility because he was mentally disabled. He had been that way since birth. Apparently, he and his roommate (who weighed twice as much as he did) got into an altercation. Reports are unclear as to how it started or if the smaller victim was even able to fight back at all. He passed away almost one week after the incident. Doctors declared that he died as a result of compressional asphyxia. The police deemed the incident an assault and labelled the victim’s death a homicide. This case still awaits resolution. The complaint seeks damages for negligence and wrongful death. It makes out that the facility had a duty to ensure the safety of residents. Clearly, that promise was not kept here.Get Help From Group Home Abuse Lawyers Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois
Operators of Illinois group homes have a legal responsibility to keep their residents safe and free from abuse and injury. When episodes of mistreatment occur, Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC stands ready to prosecute these cases on behalf of minors, disabled and other vulnerable people. Don’t let a facility get away with poor care. Speak to an Illinois group home abuse attorney today.