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Cook County Elder Abuse LawyerNursing home residents are some of the most vulnerable people in our society. Whether they suffer from physical disabilities, cognitive decline, or both, nursing home residents deserve to be protected. Nursing homes and other long-term care facilities are supposed to be safe places for elderly and disabled people to get the help and medical attention they need. Sadly, many nursing homes miss the mark.

One form of nursing home negligence that is rarely discussed is resident-on-resident abuse. Staff in a nursing home have a legal duty to supervise residents and protect them from foreseeable harm. This includes protecting nursing home residents from physical, mental, or sexual abuse at the hands of other residents.

When a Nursing Home Resident Injures Another Resident

Resident-on-resident abuse refers to abuse one nursing home resident inflicts on another. This type of abuse can happen for many different reasons. Sometimes, the abuser suffers from severe cognitive decline caused by Alzheimer’s disease or dementia and does not even realize what he or she is doing. Other times, the abuse follows an altercation of some kind.


Cook County Nursing Home Negligence LawyerThe degree of care and medical intervention nursing home residents need varies dramatically. Some residents are able to walk, talk, eat, and perform most functions with little assistance from staff. Others are completely immobile and require machines to keep them alive.

Breathing tubes are often used supply a resident with oxygen. The breathing tube is attached to a ventilator and serves as an artificial airway for people who cannot breathe on their own. Just like an obstruction in a throat, an obstruction in a breathing tube can prevent the resident from getting enough oxygen. Severe and fatal injuries can be caused by breathing tube clogs and other mistakes.   

Breathing Tube Injuries

Individuals in long-term care facilities may rely on breathing tubes and ventilators to live. It is essential that nursing home staff closely monitor residents who rely on breathing tubes because even a minor mishap can mean the difference between life and death. Negligent care at a nursing home may be caused by staffing shortages, poor staff training, or simply carelessness. When staff who do not promptly and adequately address breathing tube problems, the resident may suffer brain damage or death.


Chicago Nursing Home Neglect AttorneyThe brain controls everything from movement to thought processes. When the brain is injured in a fall, the victim can suffer irreparable health consequences. Some are unable to survive the damage caused in a fall accident.

Nursing homes and the employees who work there have a duty to prevent falls whenever possible. Falling can be deadly for ill and elderly nursing home residents. If your loved one suffered a brain injury in a fall while living in a nursing home, you may be able to sue the nursing home.

Consequences of Brain Injuries Can Be Devastating

Most people living in a nursing home are older and suffer from multiple health aliments. This makes falling especially dangerous. The CDC reports that fatal fall accidents resulted in the deaths of 34,000 people over the age of 65 in the year 2019 alone. There were an astounding 3 million emergency room visits for elderly fall victims in the same year.


Chicago Nursing Home Injury LawyerThe top priority of any nursing home should be to keep residents safe. Nursing home staff must carefully balance the need for safety and residents' desire to be independent. Many nursing home residents have cognitive illnesses that can make them a danger to themselves. For example, an elderly person with Alzheimer's may get confused and try to leave the facility. Elopement from the nursing home can be deadly, especially in high-traffic areas or extreme weather conditions. Consequently, doors to the outside may be locked and require a key card to go in and out. Illinois nursing homes may put certain limitations on residents. However, Illinois law makes it clear that unreasonable restraint of a nursing home resident is illegal.

Illinois Law on Nursing Home Restraint

There are times that a nursing home resident's independence may need to be limited. Residents with certain medical conditions can become confused or even violent, putting themselves, other residents, and the staff in danger. However, cognitive decline does not excuse unreasonable restraint. Nursing home staff are expected to ensure a resident's safety while also preserving their dignity.

Physical restraints are devices that restrict a resident's movement. Leg restraints, soft ties, hand mitts, and body vests are examples of physical restraints. Everyday objects may also be used as physical restraints. For example, staff may tuck in a resident's bed sheets so tightly that the resident cannot move or get out of bed.


Cook County Nursing  Home Abuse LawyerDementia affects over 55 million people across the globe. The illness causes reduced cognitive function, confusion, changes in personality, and altered mood. Alzheimer’s disease accounts for about 70 percent of dementia cases.

Individuals suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s disease not only must deal with the physical, emotional, and psychological consequences of the illness, they are also at increased risk of abuse in a nursing home.

Abusers Target Nursing Home Residents Who Are Vulnerable

Taking care of sick and elderly residents in a nursing home takes a great deal of compassion and resiliency. It is not an easy job. Sadly, some people take these jobs for the wrong reasons. Individuals who hope to exploit or take advantage of vulnerable people may even seek out nursing home positions because it gives them access to individuals in poor mental and physical health. This is one reason that it is so essential for nursing homes to properly vet job applicants through background checks and references. Any nursing home resident can find himself or herself the victim of abuse or neglect. However, residents with cognitive decline caused by dementia may be less likely to report the mistreatment due to communication barriers and confusion.

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