Waukegan Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC knows the issues northeastern Illinois nursing home patients regularly encounter. In addition, our personal injury attorneys have experience litigating these matters in the Lake County Courthouse.
You may rely on our team to do all required to protect your own or loved one's legal rights when it comes to safeguarding those rights. Don't hesitate to contact our Chicago personal injury lawyer at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) or use the contact form to schedule a free, no-obligation case evaluation if you need assistance regarding elder abuse in Illinois.
Waukegan, Illinois, is one of the largest cities located on the west bank of Lake Michigan and is the presiding seat of Lake County. The city is known for its tourist attractions, harbor, and airport, and three superfund sites.
Its historical ties to the manufacturing sector and involvement in the transportation industry attracted numerous immigrants over time. As a result, the city now boasts a rich and diverse population approaching 90,000.
Senior Center of Waukegan
Of the 90,000 residents living in the city, over 6,600 are over 65, and seniors represent almost 7.5% of the total population.
The city is home to numerous nursing home facilities meant to meet those who require a secure and safe environment. In addition, seniors can involve themselves in numerous activities provided by the Waukegan Township Park Place Senior Center, which Catholic Charities operate.
The activities provided include educational programs, health, wellness, fitness programs, social events, and the opportunity to enjoy meals with friends and family members.
Over the past decade, the number of reported cases involving elder home abuse has risen at an alarming rate compared to other facilities in the United States. To provide transparency and allow family members to make well-educated decisions regarding the placement of their loved ones in homes, medicare.gov now provides ratings on all accredited nursing homes and cites areas of concern to be taken into consideration.
As more nursing homes become taken over by for-profit companies, fewer patients receive the quality of care and respect they deserve.
Unfortunately, the nursing facilities will often ignore the needs of elderly patients until a northeastern Illinois elder home lawyer intercedes on behalf of victims.
Click here for a list of the accredited nursing facilities located in northeastern Illinois and their current ratings.
1100 South Lewis Avenue
Waukegan, Illinois 60085
Administrator- Demetria C. Rafael
Bayside Terrace has earned a four-star rating out of a possible score of five stars. The primary concerns cited were the history of health inspection deficiencies. The average number of fire safety-related deficiencies discovered per nursing facility in the state is 6.8, and 14 deficiencies were reported, which concerns the facility's fire safety policies.
Also, two environmental deficiencies were discovered. While this facility scores well on the quality of service, these issues need to be addressed. Bayside Terrace has 168 certified beds, which qualify for Medicaid payments. Unfortunately, this facility is unable to accept Medicare payments.
Glenlake Terrace Nursing and Rehabilitation
2222 West 14th Street
Waukegan, Illinois 60085
Administrator- Jacqueline Prestel
Glenlake is one of the worst locations that you could expose a loved one to and will remain that way until it addresses the pressing concerns that have been cited in its two-star assessment. Its health inspection history is rife with violations, and its twenty-six deficiencies greatly exceed the state average of 7.6.
What is most concerning is how those deficiencies have been classified; two instances of mistreatment, four home patients' rights violations, nine quality of care deficiencies, and four prescription medication errors infractions.
The facility has 265 certified beds, making it a larger home and a danger to a higher number of potential victims.
Lake Park Center
919 Washington Park
Waukegan, Illinois 60085
Administrator- Robert B. Livings
The Lake Park Center is a typical example of how understaffing can result in neglect regardless of training staff members. While the facility received a five-star rating for the quality of services provided, its skeleton crew earned only a two-star rating, which suggests that the issue is not in the training of the caregivers, but their inability to serve everybody.
A failure to provide training could also influence the two-star health inspection rating the facility earned— even though none of the infractions had anything to do with misconduct, the mistreatment of patients, or the violation of their rights.
Overall, Lake Park Center has received a three-star rating and has 210 certified beds. The facility accepts Medicaid but cannot accept Medicare payments.
Pavilion of Waukegan
2217 Washington Street
Waukegan, Illinois 60085
Administrator- Igor Rebel
Pavilion of Waukegan is another nursing center plagued by understaffing, which has impacted its otherwise positive accomplishments. Its staff level only received two stars, while it scored four stars on quality of care and three stars on its health inspection history.
Resident rights violations, mistreatment, and quality of care were areas cited on its health inspection report, which suggests that the Pavilion of Waukegan staff members can provide excellent service but are unable to handle the needs of the entire patient population.
Pavilion of Waukegan has 109 certified beds that qualify for both Medicare and Medicaid payments.
The Terrace Nursing Home
1615 Sunset Avenue
Waukegan, Illinois 60087
Administrator- Rose Shults
The Terrace Nursing Center has received pretty average ratings across the board— for its staff size, health record, and the quality of service provided. However, the Terrace's overall rating of three stars makes it merely an average home that could seek to make some improvements.
Two reports of patient mistreatment have marred the home's health inspection rating, and an additional three deficiencies resulted from environmental hazards. However, on a positive note, The Terrace Nursing Center has an impeccable fire safety rating. In addition, this facility has 115 certified beds and can accept both Medicare and Medicaid payments.
Waukegan Nursing Home Abuse
Studies indicate that an older adult is abused every 5 seconds in the United States. In addition, research shows that older adults who are financially exploited are five times more likely to suffer physical abuse than those not victimized financially.
There are only 43 beds for every 1,000 seniors who need nursing home care. Therefore, it's hard to know if patients will receive the care they need because many elder care facilities have been found to have under-qualified staff, and some have been cited as places where patient neglect frequently occurs (NCEA).
The Nursing Home's Duty of Care
Nursing homes in Illinois are required to fulfill a duty of care for their clients, which implies that facility management, owners, and employees must take reasonable precautions to safeguard elderly persons from harm.
Keeping the safety of an area, providing timely care, offering needed assistance, and encouraging persons to maintain basic hygiene and requirements are all responsibilities of a caregiver in a nursing home. In addition, elders in nursing homes have the right to avoid neglect or abuse.
Owners, management, and employees are also required by law to notify the authorities if a resident's rights are being violated. For example, the Abused and Neglected Long-Term Care Facility Residents Reporting Act requires owners, managers, and personnel to report anything that violates a resident's rights.
Nursing Homes: Negligence
Most of the time, doing something wrong is just a simple mistake. An elderly victim of nursing home negligence may claim compensation for injuries and losses caused by such neglect. Negligence might include:
- Neglected residents left to lie in bed for days on end can develop painful pressure sores
- Residents may also be dropped unintentionally, resulting in a preventable injury
- Failure to assist a resident may result in an accident
- When a resident is given insufficient access to water or food
- Giving them the attention they need may be difficult, especially if they have other needs that must also be addressed
- Failing to ensure that they receive their medications on time
In some cases, a nursing home caretaker may have been negligent without even realizing it. For example, the resident may have fallen or otherwise been injured because of a poorly maintained walkway that presented an unnoticed hazard.
In other cases, the caretaker may knowingly put the resident at risk and even use force against the resident as a means to abuse and neglect.
Negligent Hiring Practices
Nursing homes have a difficult time finding competent and enthusiastic people to work at nursing homes. Because of this, nursing homes aren't always able to fill vacancies with suitable individuals from a large group of competent applicants.
Some enterprises neglect to verify credentials and don't perform thorough background checks due to the urgency to hire someone right away. As a result, residents in nursing homes may be subjected to untrained workers who aren't interested in work, and even some who have been charged and convicted as criminals.
A Lack of Training at Nursing Homes
When well-intentioned personnel are inadequately trained to do their work, they may cause damage. There are training service hours requirements in place to ensure that nursing home employees understand how to meet the varied demands of residents and how to handle emergencies.
The State of Illinois requires nursing home employees to have at least 80 hours of training every two years. Illinois is one of the few states in which this type of regulation exists.
The law is particularly important because nursing home employees are caretakers who handle personal care details for elderly residents. As a result, residents may be severely compromised if they receive improper care or things go wrong during an emergency.
If your loved one is in a nursing home, they certainly have several drugs that must be taken regularly. Prescription medications are used by nearly 90 percent of the aging population.
Nurses at nursing homes must handle a large number of pills, injections, and other therapies. Many patients have numerous prescriptions and difficult regimens that dictate when they should be taken. Their treatments may also vary over time.
With so many variables, an employee who is not careful can easily miss a dosage, dispense the incorrect medicine, or administer excessive or little of a certain medication. These errors may result in both emotional and financial devastation. In some circumstances, these careless mistakes might even cause death.
Types of Abuse in a Nursing Home
Sadly, many nursing home residents become the victims of abuse at the hands of caregivers, employees, administrators, visitors, family, friends, and other patients. The different forms of abuse could include physical, sexual, emotional, mental, psychosocial, and financial abuse.
Nursing home residents are often subjected to physical abuse because the abusers are unaware of how seriously it could affect them. Physical abuse is any act that results in pain or injury to a nursing home resident, including hitting, pinching, slapping, burning, biting, choking, etc.
Some indicators of physical abuse involve:
For example, Sam, an elderly male who lives in a nursing home facility, was found with red marks on his wrist and bruises on his arm. A few days later, he was found with a black eye and other injuries such as cuts and scrapes all over his body. His daughter decided to hire detectives who helped reveal that the man's caregiver had been abusing him while he was sleeping.
Any form of belittling, humiliating, or disrespecting a nursing home resident could be considered emotional abuse. Often, the nursing home staff utilizes verbal and nonverbal communication to control and subdue the patient.
Through acts of emotional abuse, the nursing home staff may seek to diminish the self-respect or sense of self-worth in a resident. Another form of emotional abuse is when nursing home staff humiliate residents by denying them privacy while using the bathroom.
Mental and Psychological Abuse
Suffering mental and psychosocial abuse in a nursing facility is unacceptable. But, unfortunately, families are often not aware that their loved ones are being abused until it's too late.
This type of abuse can be just as traumatic for the victim as physical abuse. In addition, nursing home residents may suffer from depression or dementia, making them unable to communicate.
Sexual abuse in a nursing facility involves any non-consensual sexual activity expressed by one person to another in a nursing home. Consent can be defined as permission or agreement given by choice.
In nursing homes, most elderly residents cannot consent for sexual activity because they may lack understanding, have impaired judgment, and be coerced into engaging in such activities.
According to the National Clearinghouse on Abuse in Later Life, victims of sexual abuse in a nursing facility frequently live with physical disabilities or cognitive impairment, making them vulnerable and unable to provide any form of consent. Unfortunately, this makes them easy targets for predators who spend time at their bedside.
According to the Administration on Aging (AoA), estimates indicate 4 million Americans aged 65 and over were abused last year. The AoA defines elder abuse as "a single, or repeated act, or lack of appropriate action, occurring within any relationship where there is an expectation of trust which causes harm or distress to an older person."
Financial exploitation in the nursing home can be extremely harmful to the resident and their family.
Financial exploitation can be defined as obtaining or attempting to obtain money, property, or services from an older adult by using deceit, harassment, or undue influence.
The increasing number of nursing home residents in the U.S. has made them more vulnerable to financial abuse and fraud. Estimates show that about five percent of the more than one million older adults living in nursing homes are victims of elder abuse each year, most of which consists of physical violations (Mayo Clinic Staff, 2009).
Despite this statistic, many financial abuse cases go unreported because victims are too ashamed or afraid to inform anyone of their situation (Mayo Clinic Staff, 2009). In addition, some seniors may not want a child, sibling, or parent involved in the investigation because they do not want to be placed in a nursing home or may want to protect the perpetrator of the abuse.
Information on warning signs for financial abuse is very limited. Many cases go unreported because seniors are too embarrassed to inform their family members that they have been victimized.
Some examples of unethical and illegal financial abuse include:
- Forgery, where someone else signs the resident's name for a financial gain
- Using a power of attorney to withdraw funds from an account for use by someone else
- Conning the senior into signing up for a credit card or loan, where they do not have enough money to repay it
- Taking advantage of someone's good nature to dupe them out of their savings and possessions
The most common type of financial abuse occurs when a caregiver, family member, or acquaintance takes advantage of an older adult's vulnerability and lack of understanding of the financial system to exploit that person financially.
Financial abuse can also come from outside sources such as:
- Telemarketing and mail fraud
- Illegal lottery 'sweepstakes.'
- Ponzi and pyramid schemes
- Fraudulent investment opportunities and business propositions
Abuse occurs when a caregiver is vindictive, active, or passive in the mistreatment of an elderly resident. Burglars are posing as utility workers to gain entry into a senior's home, where they can search for checks, credit cards, or expensive jewelry.
Warning Signs of Nursing Home Abuse
Nursing home abuse can be challenging to detect, but you should look for warning signs. If you notice any of the following five things happening at your loved one's nursing home, it may well be time to call in for a professional inspection.
- The staff seem abusive or neglectful towards residents
- There is no supervision by nurses
- Staff members are not present during meal times
- Residents don't have their personal items and belongings with them
- Staff members make derogatory comments about residents in front of other people
- The resident seems nervous, or the jury will decide around specific individuals, including caregivers, spouses, children, grandchildren, or other patients
Abuse and neglect might be difficult to detect, but if you notice any suspicious activity happening at your loved one's nursing home, it might be time for inspection.
If you have noticed these warning signs or are concerned about your loved one's safety and quality of care in their current setting, contact the personal injury attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC today at (888) 424-5757.
We will connect with you as soon as possible to discuss how we can help take care of this situation so that no more residents are abused or neglected by staff members.
Understaffing is a Common Concern that Leads to Neglect of Northeastern Illinois Nursing Home Patients
What is essential to understand about senior home negligence is that most of the cases are not the result of direct acts committed by horrible people. However, these cases are instead the result of the inability of staff members to dedicate the amount of time required to make sure that everyone receives proper care.
For-profit corporations choose to increase their margins by keeping staff numbers at the lowest acceptable levels that harm patients. The injuries that may result and evidence of neglect include the following:
- Development of bedsores: Sores develop most often when patients with limited mobility are not moved regularly. The pressure is placed on the joints, which cuts the blood flow to the surrounding area, and the surrounding tissue begins to die. All caregivers must do to prevent this issue is to reposition patients every one to two hours or encourage the patient to walk or participate in physical activity if they are able.
- Dehydration or malnutrition: Neglectful when nursing home facilities are so understaffed that patients go unfed or without access to fluids. Unfortunately, this happens more often than you may believe.
- Trips and falls: Certain patients require more supervision than others, and nursing facilities are required to assess whether each patient is at risk of experiencing a fall and then to put together a fall prevention plan. As a result, many falls that occur in nursing home centers can be prevented through supervision. Still, understaffed facilities cannot dedicate the resources required to minimize the risk of falling.
Our Waukegan nursing home abuse lawyers routinely handle cases involving Lake County nursing home neglect. However, we believe that the most effective measure victims can take to seek accountability from facilities that prioritize profit margins over the safety of humans begins.
If your loved one has been injured due to nursing home neglect or abuse, our northeastern Illinois nursing home abuse lawyers are willing to fight on your behalf. Moreover, our lawyers will ensure that you are compensated well enough to provide them with a safe and caring environment. We do not merely have access to resources needed to win your case but can also help you locate a facility that provides excellent care.
Contact us for a free consultation. We will review the immediate steps you need to ensure your loved one's safety and then investigate the details of your case before letting you know what legal options are available to you.
If we cannot secure compensation for your loved one, you can be assured that our resources and services will come at no charge.
A Brief History of Waukegan, Illinois
The city is one of the oldest established communities in Illinois, and its first record in history occurred when Pere Marquette visited the area in 1673. It would become a French trading post and earn the name "Little Fort" by the Potawatomi Indian tribe that settled the territory in subsequent years.
In 1829, the Potawatomi tribe gave up its claims to the lands as part of a treaty with the Federal government. As a result, the city's name was created in homage to the Potawatomie Indians' name, Wakaigin, in the Potawatomi language.
In 1849, the city received recognition as a town and began to attract settlers primarily due to its location on Lake Michigan. It has always participated in trade and would ship goods from all of the area farms to Chicago.
When the railroad gained steam in the 1850s, the city was one of the Chicago and North Western railway stops. The recognition gave the town tremendous value as a manufacturing center and attracted both residents and companies.
The booming population earned the town the right to incorporate as a city, and it did so in 1859 when its land area totaled a mere 5.62 square miles. The city has since grown to a sprawling city of nearly 90,000 residents composed mostly of lower-middle-class families.
Waukegan and the Transportation Industry
Since the dawn of the city's history, the city had served as a cog in the transportation industry, from when it acted as a trading post to when it began supplying the city of Chicago with food and other wares produced by those in the rural lands nearby.
Its location on Lake Michigan and access to the railroad turned it into a transportation hub, and it continues to play a large part in modern transportation. It is currently home to a harbor, regional airport, and three taxi companies.
The city has access to Metra lines that run along the Union Pacific, transporting travelers into downtown Chicago.
Recreational boaters can use the marina at Waukegan Harbor. The harbor acts as a shipping center for ships delivering goods via Lake Michigan on Green Bay, Chicago, and Milwaukee routes.
Some of the more notable companies that have established cargo facilities at the harbor include Gold Bond Building Products, St. Mary's Cement Company, and LaFarge Corp.
Superfund Sites Create Concerns over Hazardous Materials
One of the city's drawbacks is that it is host to three federally funded superfund sites, where hazardous materials have been proven to harm the environment. The first site was created following the discovery of PCPs in the sediment of the Waukegan Harbor, and Outboard Marine Corporation was determined to be the party responsible. It began cleanup efforts in 1990.
Another site was the result of asbestos contamination discovered in 1988. While most of the contamination was addressed in the three years following the initial discovery, current efforts are still underway to clean up asbestos found outside the first contamination zone.
The third and final site is located at the Yeoman Creek Landfill, which allowed leachate to leak into the groundwater. The area posed a hazard as a contaminant and volatile compound that could combust. The cleanup was completed in 2005.
The city is home to numerous tourist attractions and activities that draw in crowds regularly. Its landmarks include the Genesee Theatre, Lake County Sports Center, Waukegan History Museum, and the William D. Block Memorial Library.
The city is home to many events, including the Chicago Latino Film Festival, Art Wauk, Holiday Wauk, and Fiestas Parade and Festival. These events cater to the diverse cultural interests of a melting pot society.
Hiring a Waukegan Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer for Legal Advice and Legal Representation
Are you the victim of nursing home abuse and neglect? Did you lose a loved one to caregivers or other residents' careless or reckless actions in a nursing home?
The Waukegan nursing home abuse lawyers at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC are legal advocates for abuse, mistreatment, and neglect victims. Our Chicago, IL law offices have the legal resources necessary to ensure that responsible parties and insurance companies are held legally accountable for damages.
We can help your family navigate the legal process while you receive the medical attention you deserve.
Contact our Chicago, IL nursing home abuse attorneys 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 our personal injury firm remains private through an attorney-client relationship.
Our legal team accepts all personal injury cases and wrongful death lawsuits through a contingency fee agreement. This fee guarantee ensures you pay nothing unless your case is eventually settled or a jury awarded compensation for your damages.
Our nursing home abuse lawyers handle cases throughout the Chicagoland area including in Cook County, DuPage County, Lake County, Will County, and nearby cities, including Victory Lakes, Round Lake Beach, and Lake Forest Place.