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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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Chicago nursing home injury attorneyThe majority of nursing home residents have physical and mental disabilities that affect their ability to live independently. Residents may be living in the facility primarily because they need help using the bathroom, showering, eating, and completing other daily living tasks. Nursing home staff members have a responsibility to evaluate the degree of assistance residents need to complete these tasks and to adequately provide the level of care needed. Because many residents have health conditions that affect their ability to eat, nursing home staff should be especially aware of choking risks. When nursing home staff do not take the steps necessary to prevent residents from choking, the facility could be held legally responsible for residents who are injured or killed in choking accidents.

Staff Have a Legal Duty to Monitor Residents

One of the biggest responsibilities nursing home staff have is to supervise residents so that they do not put themselves in dangerous situations. What constitutes a dangerous situation may vary depending on the resident’s individual needs. For example, a resident with advanced dementia may need to be more closely monitored than a resident who does not have significant cognitive impairment.

When a new resident is admitted to a nursing home, he or she undergoes assessments in order to determine the type and extent of care he or she needs. If a resident has health problems such as dysphagia that put him or her at a higher risk of choking, staff should take steps to mitigate this risk as much as possible. This may include monitoring the resident during meals, modifying the patient’s diet so that it only includes easy-to-swallow food, or other precautions. Nursing home staff should also periodically re-assess residents in order to determine if the residents need additional care and attention.

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Illinois nursing home neglect attorneysThe Illinois State Police estimates that more 100,000 elderly individuals currently live in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities throughout the state. This figure is expected to increase in the years ahead as Americans are generally living longer than they did in previous generations. In fact, a recent study found more than half of American adults will stay in a nursing home at least once during their lives.

A person who requires the type of care that is offered by a nursing home or skilled nursing facility should be able to receive that care without having to fear that will be forgotten about or mistreated by the facility’s staff. Unfortunately, instances of neglect are far too common in nursing homes around the country, including in the greater the Chicago area.

Patients Often Show Signs of Neglect

A recent post discussed some of the things associated with a nursing facility that might raise concerns that neglect is occurring within its walls. Indicators of understaffing or a lack of motivation on the part of staff members should encourage you to check in with your loved one to ensure that he or she is receiving the proper care and attention.

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