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Joliet Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer

Negligent care in Kendall and Will County nursing homes is a significant problem. However, the personal injury attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC are dedicated to holding facilities accountable when physical abuse or neglect harms a patient; they are entrusted to provide care.

Contact a Joliet personal injury lawyer at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) or use the contact form to schedule a free consultation. All confidential or sensitive information you share with your nursing home abuse attorney remains private through an attorney-client relationship.

Joliet, Illinois, is the fourth largest city in the state and acts as the county seat of Will County. Parts of the city extend into neighboring Kendall County. Home to over 147,000 residents, its population is culturally, ethnically, and economically diverse.

The city has roots in the manufacturing and rock quarrying industries and is home to two casinos. In addition, Joliet has strong religious foundations, is the seat of the Roman Catholic Joliet Diocese, and is home to the nation's first public college.

Senior Living in Joliet

The senior residents of Joliet represent a significant portion of its 147,000 residents. Almost 12,000 Jolietans are over the age of 65, and another 3,000 are nearing retirement age. Twelve nursing care facilities are located throughout the area to tend to this vital portion of the population.

In recent years, many of the homes have been taken over by for-profit corporations. However, the quality of care has suffered as a result. The frequency of elder home abuse cases has risen at an alarming rate, so it is essential to conduct a thorough evaluation of facilities before choosing a home for your loved one.

The Illinois elder home lawyers at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC have helped hundreds of clients move their loved ones into homes that provide more reliable care. Our law firm is glad to provide the latest ratings of the most prominent nursing facilities in Kendall and Will Counties below.

Our legal team gathered this information from the Illinois Department of Public Health, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), insurance company information, and other public sources. The star rating system managed by the Illinois Department of Health and the federal government is based on national averages.

Joliet NursingHome Abuse Lawyer

Common Concerns and Symptoms of Abuse and Neglect

Even if you have carefully vetted the caregiving facility you've chosen for your loved one, it is crucial to be mindful of the signs that they might be suffering from nursing home neglect or abuse. Every family member should understand the symptoms of problematic nursing homes that are common in the Joliet area.

  • Infections and disease: Many of the homes in Joliet have been cited over concerns resulting from insufficient measures to prevent the spread of infectious diseases. If your loved one contracts an infection, it is essential to investigate whether the facility they reside in has a history of inadequate prevention measures.
  • Trips and falls due to environmental hazards: Highly trafficked areas in each resident's living area or where they may be inclined to walk must be free of obstacles and environmental hazards such as wet floors. Falls often result in broken bones and deep bruising, more serious injuries for the elderly and infirm, as they do not heal quickly. Additionally, fractured hips are linked to permanent loss of mobility and premature death.
  • Failure to screen new hires: Any worker responsible for providing patient care must be appropriately vetted and cleared before employment. If this step is not taken, those with questionable records can be allowed to care for your loved one, which may result in abuse.
  • Malnutrition and dehydration: Lack of proper nutrition or dehydration can result from poor meal planning, the failure of staff members to deliver food to every resident, and failing to assist those who cannot eat or drink without assistance.
  • Unexplained injuries: The nursing center must inform every family member when elderly victims have experienced an unexplained injury like a broken hip, traumatic brain injury, spinal cord damage, or any condition requiring medical attention.

Elder home abuse has become a sensitive topic over the last ten years. The number of reported incidents of neglect or abuse has skyrocketed. If you suspect that your loved one is being mistreated at a Joliet, IL facility, you mustn't hesitate to investigate the situation and remove them from the harmful environment.

If you need legal help, call our Joliet law firm today. After a quick case review, we can help the family navigate the complex legal system protecting long-stay and short-stay residents.

Nursing Home Understaffing – a Dangerous Problem That Increases Profits at the Residents' Expense

As the aging population continues to increase as the last of the baby boomers enter their retirement years, the need for more nursing home beds has risen dramatically. However, nearly every nursing home run by a for-profit corporation has found it challenging to hire quality staff to ensure that all residents' needs are met.

Unfortunately, understaffing at nursing homes and assisted living facilities have created dangerous situations for the residents. When staffing levels are too low, injuries can occur due to lack of supervision or preventative care, leaving many nursing home residents in danger of suffering serious harm.

For example, an elderly couple was admitted to a nursing home for rehabilitation after recovering from hip surgeries. Unfortunately, during their stay, they contracted pneumonia and suffered bedsores. The lack of proper care resulted in the death of both patients, leaving their family members with a wrongful death claim against the nursing home.

Frequently, research reveals that understaffing has been shown to increase profits at the expense of residents. Therefore, if you or someone you know believes that they have suffered injury or harm due to understaffing at a nursing home facility, you must contact an experienced personal injury attorney who can help investigate your case.

Understaffing can lead to:

  • Falls and Trauma: Without enough staff on duty, there may not be anyone available to help residents who need assistance getting up from bed or out of a chair and making their way to the bathroom. According to one study published in Health Services Research, a journal of health policy and research, about 14 percent of nursing home residents experienced one or more falls each month.
  • Bed Sores: Many seniors have limited mobility due to conditions such as arthritis. As a result, they need assistance getting up from bed at least every two hours to avoid developing pressure ulcers, also known as bedsores. Inadequate staff training can contribute to this problem because workers are not properly prepared for the physical demands needed to assist each resident.
  • Malnutrition: When understaffed, employees may not have enough time to go around and feed all the residents within an appropriate amount of time. Some studies suggest that 45 minutes is the standard time it takes until malnutrition becomes an issue.
  • Dehydration: Without enough staff members to check on residents throughout the day, the risk of dehydration increases because staff might not receive immediate feedback that a resident requires assistance.
  • Medication Errors: When not properly supervised, there are greater risks for medication errors because workers may forget or delay administering medications to residents. It can be detrimental to their health if they do not get the proper dosage at the appropriate time.

Families who are unsure of how to transition their loved ones from an abusive facility into the hands of qualified caregivers can find the answers they seek by speaking with a Cook County elder abuse attorney.

The Illinois long-term care facility abuse team at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC does not work solely on taking our clients' cases to court but also on making sure that they can find relief for their loved ones.

We will help you find a nursing facility that will treat your loved ones with dignity and respect and fight hard for justice so that those responsible for their injuries will be held into account. The compensation we have won for hundreds of clients in similar situations has helped them afford treatment of the injuries suffered from abuse or neglect and the transition into a better home.

Contact us today to arrange a free initial consultation with one of our DuPage County elder abuse lawyers for legal advice and learn more about your legal rights and your options if you should seek compensation.

Our Joliet nursing home abuse lawyers provide our services and legal resources to anyone who needs them. Because of that, our personal injury law firm will not require any payments upfront. Should we not secure fair and just compensation for your loved one, our services will be free of charge.

Joliet Nursing Home Abuse Law Firm

The Early Warning Signs of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect

Do you suspect that your loved one is the victim of nursing home abuse or neglect? Are you concerned that the medical team is failing to do their job, leading to a decline in the resident's health?

Some of the early warning signs of abusive or neglectful actions by nursing home caregivers include:

  • A resident is frequently injured, with unexplained bruises or skin tears
  • A resident is often in poor health, with unusually frequent fall reports
  • The resident experiences an increase in the number of serious falls that result in hospitalization, with no explanation by staff members
  • A resident has a sudden unexplained change in mental state (such as becoming aggressive) after spending time alone with one particular nurse or aide
  • Residents complain of severe bedsores, pressure ulcers, or other injuries; however, nursing home staff denies these personal injury claims and refuses to allow you to check the condition of your loved one
  • You suspect physical abuse because you notice signs such as black eyes, bruising on the face and arms when you visit your loved one. The caregiver's explanation for the injuries report is filed against a caregiver for resident abuse, and the next day, they are moved to another unit without an official explanation
  • A sudden change in the resident's behavior (such as agitation, depression, and withdrawal) after spending time alone with one particular nurse or aide

If your loved one shows any of these signs, it is important to act immediately. Anyone who suspects that nursing home abuse or neglect has taken place should call state authorities at once.

The earlier the problem is addressed, the less chance there will be permanent physical or psychological damage to your loved one. Call our Chicago, IL, nursing home abuse attorneys to discuss stopping the abuse and receiving fair compensation. Every individual at fault for causing harm should be held liable.

Medical Teams in Nursing Homes Know Bedsores Can Kill – Yet They Still Occur

According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), developing bedsores in a nursing home, assisted living facility, or rehab Center are "never events." In addition, Medicare and Medicaid regulators have determined that nearly all bedsores are preventable if the nursing staff and doctors follow established protocols.

However, there has been a significant rise in the number of facility-acquired bedsores in recent years, causing Medicare to take quick action. In nearly every case, Medicare will refuse to reimburse the nursing home for a facility-acquired sore.

Bedsores are often referred to as pressure sores, pressure wounds, pressure ulcers, or decubitus ulcers. While technically, each pressure wound represents the same kind of sore, doctors often referred to pressure ulcers and decubitus ulcers as stage III (critical) and stage IV (life-threatening) sores.

Many people think that bedsores are a normal part of aging, but this isn't true. The American Medical Directors Association (AMDA) issued a report in 2010 warning against allowing residents to lie flat in bed for more than two hours at a time.

Remaining stationery without any movement restricts blood flow to the affected area, limiting nutrients and oxygenated blood to reach tissue, bone, and muscle. As a result, a pressure sore can develop within two hours and become critical within a few hours if not treated immediately.

The classifications of pressure sores include:

Stage I 

These sores are rarely detectable without proper training but may show up as redness or other discoloration of the skin. With quick intervention, these sores can disappear within a day or two, not causing any more significant damage to the area.

Stage II 

Stage II is when the sore causes visible damage to the top layer of the skin. As a result, the wound will appear wet and possibly oozing. The surrounding area may also feel warmer than normal to touch. Stage II sores usually take four to seven days before healing on their own with no treatment.

Stage III 

By this point, there is damage down to the lower layers of skin and tissue, exposing muscle and bone in some cases. Death of tissue can begin at this level, leading to organ failure if not treated immediately. At stage III pressure sores, surgical intervention (debridement) for cleaning out debris might be the only way to ensure any healing at all and stop the progression to a stage IV sore.

However, even with quick action taken, bedsores are preventable if the nursing staff and doctors follow established protocols. For example, pressure sores can develop within 24 hours of a resident lying down on a bed for too long.

Complete healing from a stage III sore may take as much as six months or more with the right medical team.

Stage IV 

By Stage IV, the infection has set into the lower layers of skin and tissue, with damage extending to muscle and bone in some cases. There's also a significant risk of organ failure at this level.

Without surgical intervention to remove dead tissue, clean out debris, and treat with antibiotics, Stage IV bedsores have a good chance of leading to the patient's death. Data reveals that up to 84% will die within six days.

Bedsores are a significant medical issue in the United States, which costs the healthcare industry billions of dollars every year. For example, the average cost at a nursing home to treat a pressure wound is between $2,000 and $3,000 per resident each time it occurs.

In 2010 alone, Medicare records indicate that this translated into more than 1.5 million hospital stays for pressure sore-related treatment costing more than $9 billion.

Bedsores from Nursing Home Neglect Can Turn into a Death Sentence

According to a recent report by National Public Radio, bedsores develop when pressure on the skin and tissues cuts off blood flow to those areas. When cells don't get enough oxygen and nutrients, they die. As these areas break down, an infection can start.

Death from bedsores is not inevitable. However, it sometimes takes months or years before the death becomes apparent because this condition breaks down quickly. Bedsore can turn into a wound that's as much as 20 inches long and 10 inches wide, and it will eat to the bone.

Many victims of facility-acquired bedsores at nursing homes undergo amputation to remove the affected limb as their only chance of survival.

The Financial Problem with Nursing Home Bedsores

NPR reports that home health care professionals say they know how to prevent bedsores if they intervene regularly and follow protocols to relieve pressure on residents' skin and turn them regularly in bed.

However, many facilities do not provide individualized care that would virtually eliminate bedsores because state law does not require it. The problem is compounded by inadequate staffing levels or failure to hire trained medical staff like nurses and doctors to provide quality care.

More than 50% of all nursing home facilities nationwide are understaffed, industry surveys show. As a result, staff members don't have the time or staff to follow established protocols for preventing bedsores.

A Brief History of Joliet, Illinois

Many of the settlements developed in the area first came into existence shortly following the conclusion of the Black Hawk war. For example, Joliet was first settled in 1834 as Juliet, which historians believe to be a mistranslation of French-Canadian explorer Louis Jolliet's last name.

The name inspired a neighboring settlement to name itself Romeo, and the two towns maintained a rivalry with each other throughout their growth and development. Juliet was founded along the Des Plaines River, which provided farmers with fertile land to produce crops.

The river would remain a strategic position throughout the city's history and contribute to its continued growth.

One of the first structures of renown constructed in the town was the National Hotel. The hotel's grand opening in 1837 made the city attractive for would-be settlers because it served as the social center where residents would gather for parties and planned events.

The courthouse was built the next year and doubled as a church until the city built a superior courthouse in 1848. It was also in this year that the Illinois and Michigan Canal was completed. The emerging commerce brought industry and a population boom to Joliet. In addition, the canal allowed the city to access a more significant network of waterways via the Des Plaines and DuPage Rivers.

The local population decided to change the city's name to Joliet in 1845, and its rival state, Romeo, would eventually become known as Romeoville. Finally, in 1852, Joliet became a city due to its first Mayor, Cornelius Cohenhoven Van Horne, for whom the Van Horne Bridge is now named.

Mills, factories, and quarries appeared in high numbers throughout the city due to two major rivers and a rich limestone deposit between Joliet and its rival, Romeoville. The railroad tycoon, Jacob A. Henry, built a luxurious mansion out of the limestone mined from his quarry that contained forty rooms.

The structure's architecture has been classified as one of the most authentic and accurate examples of the Renaissance Revival Period. The home was turned into a museum that still welcomes visitors to this day. Joliet soon became a steel city following the discovery of sizeable minable coal deposits.

In 1912 the Joliet Union Station was constructed to make it easier to transport the multitudinous goods the city produced and to invite travelers from afar.

The station included the Grand Ballroom, which was tailored to serve the needs of traveling business people and visitors. As a result, Joliet Union Station gained inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places.

As happened to several steel cities of renown, Joliet went through a period of economic hardship in the middle of the 20th century. The city reached its most dire state in 1983 when its unemployment had exceeded 26%. Joliet has since diversified its economy but remains a far more attractive place to live than to work.

Many of the newer residents work outside of the city for companies located in surrounding suburbs.

Landmarks and Tourism

Joliet is home to numerous landmarks and places of historical significance, and these attractions are a great draw for tourists and visitors from nearby towns. Several movies and television shows have been filmed on-site at the Joliet Prison— the most iconic scene being the opening of the movie The Blues Brothers. The prison is also where the popular television show Prison Break was filmed. The city is also home to the Chicagoland Speedway and Route 66 Speedway. The Chicagoland Speedway is home to NASCAR events, which draw commerce to the city each year.

The Route 66 Visitors Center is a popular attraction and honors the famous Route 66, one of the first highways to span the continental United States.

The Rialto Square Theatre became the favorite hangout for the gangster Al Capone and has filmed several feature films. Down the street from the theatre is the Joliet Area Historical Museum.

Joliet Nursing Home Abuse Attorney

Economy and Demographics

During early development, the city's economy was heavily driven by manufacturing and mining, and many of its jobs disappeared during the 1900s. The city has recovered entirely from the economic collapse, but many of its residents are employed elsewhere.

The healthcare and gambling industries provide the most jobs at the moment, and the University of St. Francis and Joliet Junior College both draw additional jobs and create opportunities for those seeking them.

The city is predominantly white but has large African-Americans and Latinos, producing a diverse ethnic and cultural backdrop.

Contact Our Joliet Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers for Help Today

Nursing homes are supposed to provide an environment where seniors can safely reside and receive all necessary levels of care while improving their well-being.

However, when understaffed facilities fail to meet these standards, it can result in serious harm or injury to the residents. If you believe that your loved one has been a victim due to nursing home negligence, then contact an attorney from our firm today for help.

Our Joliet nursing home abuse lawyers have won millions of dollars in compensation for our clients over the years, and we are also prepared to fight for your rights.

Contact the law office of Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) or use the contact form to schedule a free consultation. We will begin working on your case immediately.

We have obtained millions in financial compensation for our clients resolving their personal injury cases and can help you too. There is no fee if there is no recovery, and all information you share with us remains confidential.

Our home abuse attorneys regularly file nursing home negligence lawsuits in Will County on individuals and families. Contact our office or call anytime to discuss your case with one of our Illinois home neglect attorneys.

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