When you place your loved one into a nursing home or a skilled nursing facility, you have every right to expect that they will be treated with dignity, respect, and above all, proper care. After all, nursing homes are staffed with trained professionals who are supposed to care about the people who are residents of their facility. Unfortunately, such is not always the case. Elderly abuse and nursing home negligence do occur in far too many facilities around the country, including here in Northern Illinois.
According to the Illinois State Police, more than 100,000 elderly persons are housed in long-term care facilities in Illinois. This number is only expected to grow in the coming years as Americans continue to live longer than they did in the past. Recent research conducted by a variety of academic organizations suggests that more than 12,000 of those patients will be neglected or abused each year. In order to best protect your loved ones, it is important for you to visit regularly and look for any indications that something may be wrong. Pay close attention to see if your loved one shows signs of:
- Fear of the nursing home staff. Your loved one may also express concern about being left alone with caregivers;
- Dehydration or malnutrition not related to terminal illness or end-stage disease;
- Lack of personal cleanliness, especially if hygiene has been important to your loved one before;
- Dirty or torn clothing or bedding;
- Lack of dental care;
- Fatigue, listlessness, and other indications of depression; or
- Symptoms of missed medication or excessive use of medication.
In addition to the above signs, any sickness or injury that cannot be easily explained should also be reported. Approximately 30 percent of all nursing facilities nationwide have been cited for instances of abuse, but many more are believed to go unreported. In addition, financial abuse is often common. Check each bill carefully to be sure your loved one is not being billed for services that have not been rendered, or that he or she is not being billed for several services that should be combined into a single billing.
Contact an Illinois Nursing Home Abuse Attorney
Nursing home abuse and neglect are serious problems in Illinois. If you suspect that your loved one or the loved one of someone you know has been neglected or abused, you may be eligible for compensation. Contact a qualified Chicago nursing home abuse and neglect attorney today about your case. We can help ensure that your side is fairly represented in court and help you get the compensation you need to care for your loved one properly. Call 312-535-4625 for a free consultation.