The Chicago nursing home abuse attorneys of Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC have represented far too many victims of nursing home abuse or neglect and the rising number of these cases over the last decade has been both concerning and depressing. Illinois lawmakers have taken an incredible step toward ending the current plague of abuse by passing a bill into law that will allow the families of nursing patients to install cameras and recording devices in the living areas of residents. Not only will this act as a strong deterrent to those who would mistreat our loved ones, but it will also provide indisputable evidence in the event patients do become victims of abuse or neglect.
The Need for Oversight
Nursing home abuse has become a topic of concern across the nation as more nursing facilities fall into the hands of for-profit organizations, which sacrifice quality of care to reduce costs and increase margins. By allowing families to observe what is going on inside of these facilities, the families will be able to notice when their loved ones are not receiving adequate care or when staff members treat them unfairly. Forms of neglect and abuse can include the following.
- Neglecting patients who are at risk of developing pressure ulcers and failing to reduce this risk through regularly moving the patient.
- Restraining residents without valid reasons for doing so.
- Threatening patients when they complain about pain, discomfort and neglect.
- Physically or sexually assaulting patients.
- Not feeding patients regularly or providing nutrition that meets their unique needs.
- Denying patients the assistance that they require when eating, drinking or getting in and out of bed.
Terms and Conditions of Nursing Home Surveillance
In order to address privacy concerns that arose over this bill, provisions were included that allow families and patients to decide for themselves whether to install the devices. Concerns over the cost to the nursing facilities themselves were also brought up and addressed in the final draft of the bill, which was signed into law by Governor Bruce Rauner on August 21, 2015. In order to install cameras or audio recording devices in patients’ rooms, the patients and their families must agree to the following.
- If the patient lives with another resident, all parties must consent to the installation and use of the devices.
- The nursing facility is not required to pay for the installation of cameras or audio recording devices or their continued operation. The patient or his or her family must be responsible for the cost of installing and operating the devices.
- Nursing staff and visitors must be informed that the room is monitored.
Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan was a strong supporter of the legislation, which she claimed would provide added peace of mind to families who have loved ones in facilities across the state. There are about 5,000 complaints filed against nursing facilities every year and about 100 claims of serious neglect, physical abuse or the theft of patients’ physical property are found to be valid. Cameras could lead to the prosecution of more people guilty of these crimes by providing irrefutable evidence to courts during criminal proceedings and allow our Chicago nursing home neglect lawyers to build stronger cases.
Responding to the Wave of Abuse
If your loved one has become a victim to nursing home neglect or abuse, it is important that the negligent facility be held responsible and that your loved one is placed in a facility that will properly tend to his or her needs. The signs of abuse or neglect may be subtle at first and you should never be afraid to investigate when you feel that something is not right. It can also be incredibly difficult to trust the care of your loved one to anyone ever again after he or she has already been the victim of abuse.
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC has represented the interests and needs of thousands of families impacted by nursing home negligence and we have the resources needed to help transition your loved one from an abusive environment into one that is more suitable to his or her needs while securing the compensation needed to pay for his or her care. Contact us today to arrange a risk free consultation so that we can evaluate the details of your case, review your legal options with you and help you on the path toward protecting your loved one from further harm.
Our Chicago nursing home abuse attorneys operate strictly on a contingency basis, which means our success is linked directly to the success of your case. If we are unable to secure damages on your behalf, our services will be free of charge.