Nursing Home Negligence and Abuse

Nursing Home Negligence and Abuse

Although many people place their elderly loved ones in nursing homes, rehabilitation centers, and assisted living facilities to ensure that those individuals receive adequate health care and attention, the reality is that nursing home residents are amongst the most vulnerable populations in society. This is largely due to the fact that residents are often unable to protect themselves from the physical or emotional abuse of their caretakers, whether due to age or poor health.

While the rights of nursing home residents are protected under both state and federal law in Illinois, an alarming number of violations continue to occur, making it especially important for those who have suspicions that a loved one is being mistreated, to speak with an experienced nursing home negligence and abuse attorney who can help hold the at-fault parties accountable for their actions.

Resident Rights

Under the Illinois Nursing Home Care Act, all long-term care facilities are required to use reasonable care when treating and caring for their residents and to ensure that certain rights are respected and protected, including the right to:

  • Manage their own financial affairs unless their guardian authorizes a facility’s administrator to manage the resident’s financial affairs;
  • Retain and use their personal property in their immediate living quarters, unless deemed medically inappropriate;
  • Obtain current information about their diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis in terms that they can reasonably be expected to understand, and in a confidential manner;
  • Be free of the use of restraints, whether physical or chemical in nature, unless so ordered by a physician and documented in the clinical record;
  • Be free of abuse and neglect;
  • Receive and send private and uncensored communication via mail, phone, or visitation;
  • Freely exercise their religion;
  • Present grievances to the administrator without the threat of discharge;
  • Refuse to perform labor for a facility;
  • Be free of unlawful discrimination; and
  • Conduct authorized electronic monitoring of their room.

Facilities or employees who harm their residents or who fail to respect these rights could face legal repercussions, including sanctions and fines.

Signs of Abuse or Neglect

Evidence of nursing home abuse or neglect is not always obvious. Fortunately, there are a few signs that are often indicative of abuse or neglect, so if one of your loved ones lives in a nursing home, you may want to keep an eye out for the following:

  • Marked physical or emotional changes in the resident;
  • Unorganized or inadequate staff;
  • High staff turnover;
  • Evidence that a resident feels distressed or uncomfortable around certain staff members;
  • Signs of dehydration or malnourishment;
  • Rapid weight loss or weight gain;
  • Unsanitary living conditions;
  • Unexplained injuries; and
  • Withdrawal or an unusual lack of communicativeness.

If you have noticed any of these signs at your own relative’s long-term care facility and have notified the proper authorities, you should speak with an attorney about your loved one’s legal rights and options.

Contact a Nursing Home Abuse or Neglect Attorney

Please call 312-332-5400 to schedule a consultation with one of the dedicated nursing home neglect and abuse attorneys at Saks, Robinson & Rittenberg, Ltd. today.

If you have been injured in a personal injury or work-related accident, do not hesitate to contact our office at (312) 332-5400

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