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Chicago nursing home abuse attorneysNursing homes have a legal duty to provide reasonably skilled care to residents. They are expected to help the residents with personal hygiene, meal times, and everyday tasks. Nursing home staff are also expected to provide competent medical care. This may include administering medication, recognizing the signs and symptoms of illnesses, caring for injuries, and more. If a resident suffers a health concern that the nursing home staff are not equipped to deal with, staff should arrange for the resident to receive the medical care he or she needs through other means. Failure to provide medical care may lead to a nursing home neglect and abuse claim.  

Understaffing Can Lead to Inadequate Medical Care

Nursing home staff typically consists of nurses, certified nursing assistants, physical therapists, dieticians, administrative employees, and support employees such as custodians. Federal law mandates that a registered nurse be on duty at least eight hours each day, seven days a week. At least one licensed nurse must be on duty 24 hours a day. There should also be enough additional staff such as nurse aides to ensure that residents are properly cared for. 

Unfortunately, understaffing is a major problem in Illinois nursing homes and facilities across the country. When there are not enough staff, residents may suffer from insufficient medical care including:

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IL nursing home abuse lawyerWhen people think about nursing home and neglect, images of overmedicated or malnourished residents may come to mind. However, nursing home neglect is not always this obvious. In fact, one of the least visible forms of nursing home negligence is also one of the most dangerous. The problem of inadequate sanitation may not be immediately obvious, but it can have deadly consequences for residents. When nursing home staff do not keep the facility clean, viruses and bacteria can spread rapidly endangering the lives of the residents who call the facility home.

Residents Are Vulnerable to Illness and Infection

Everyone knows that it is important to wash your hands frequently in order to prevent the spread of disease. Proper hygiene is especially crucial for workers in medical facilities such as nursing homes. When nursing home staff fail to wash their hands between assisting residents, they can transfer pathogens from one resident to the next. If the facility itself is not properly sanitized, germs have the opportunity to multiply and spread throughout the building. Residents who are elderly or have weakened immune systems are particularly prone to disease and infections. They can become sick rapidly. If staff do not recognize the signs of the illness and provide the necessary medical treatment right away, the illness could prove fatal.

Unsanitary conditions in nursing homes are often the result of overworked and undertrained employees. Many nursing homes are extremely understaffed. Staff may fail to practice good hygiene or maintain a sanitary facility because they forget this essential task or because they wrongly assume that sanitation is not a high priority.

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Chicago assisted living center abuse and neglect lawyersWhen an elderly or disabled person cannot safely live on his or her own, but his or her medical concerns are not substantial enough to necessitate nursing home care, an assisted living facility is often the right choice. Assisted living homes may have a health clinic and nursing staff, but helping residents with daily living tasks such as cleaning and cooking is typically the main focus. Residents in an assisted living facility often have a greater level of independence than those in a nursing home, but people in assisted living facilities may still suffer from mistreatment.

Types of Abuse Experienced by Residents in Assisted Living Homes

Although assisted living residents have some degree of self-sufficiency, they can still be victims of neglect and abuse. Neglect may involve negligent medication errors and skipped medication doses, inadequate assistance with daily living tasks, failure to provide residents with basic necessities, allowing unsanitary or unsafe conditions to exist in the facility, and more.

Assisted living abuse may involve several different types of abuse including:

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Chicago nursing home wrongful death lawyersThe around-the-clock care offered by nursing homes and other long-term care facilities can be a literal lifeline for an elderly or disabled individual. Many nursing homes also provide medical care and services for people who are recovering from surgery or were otherwise hospitalized.

In some situations, a resident may be unable to breathe on his or her own. A breathing tube may be used in order to allow oxygen to flow directly to the resident’s lungs. Breathing tubes are often life-saving devices, but if one is used incorrectly, it can lead to a resident’s death.

Breathing Tube Injuries

In many cases, a breathing tube injury is the result of the breathing tube becoming clogged. If the tube is filled with saliva, phlegm, food, or another substance, the resident will not be able to breathe. Brain damage and eventually death can result from the lack of oxygen.

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Chicago nursing home abuse attorneysWhen a family decides to place their loved one in the care of a nursing home, they assume that the staff will take every measure to protect and care for their loved one. Tragically, this is not always the cause. Sometimes, nursing homes are either negligent to their residents’ needs or they treat them cruelly.

Examples of Nursing Home Neglect

There have been countless instances of physical abuse, mental abuse, or sexual abuse against residents living in nursing homes. Nursing home residents have rights just like anyone else, and they deserve to be treated with respect and dignity. Because residents are often unable to fight for their own rights, they rely on concerned family members to do so on their behalf.

In addition to intentional mistreatment and abuse, nursing home neglect is also a serious problem which can lead to:

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