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Recent Blog Posts

New Legislation Gives Illinois Nursing Homes Two More Years to Increase Staffing

 Posted on February 06, 2023 in Nursing Home Abuse

rockford nursing home injury lawyerThe state of Illinois recently passed an “omnibus” health care bill that will, among other considerations, give nursing homes two more years to meet staffing requirements before being fined by the Department of Public Health. This bill comes at a time when the quality of care for nursing home residents is under heightened scrutiny—and for good reason. Understaffing in nursing homes and assisted living facilities can lead to a host of problems for some of the most vulnerable Illinois residents.

Staffing Concerns Have Lasted Far Too Long

Often abbreviated as “NHCA,” the Illinois Nursing Home Care Act (210 ILCS 45/) sets out specific rules and regulations that long-term care facilities must follow in Illinois. The NHCA states that each facility must provide “adequate” staffing levels in order to ensure the highest quality of care for its residents. In March 2020, the Department of Public Health issued emergency rules that set minimum staffing requirements for nursing homes across the state based on occupancy levels, as well as additional requirements related to infection control and safety protocols.

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 The Dangers of Medication Errors in Nursing Homes and Assisted Living Facilities

 Posted on January 27, 2023 in Nursing Home Abuse

chicago nursing home medication error lawyerA medication error can happen in any healthcare setting, and nursing homes and assisted living facilities are no exception. When these errors occur, they can cause significant physical and emotional harm to the resident. It is important for family members of those affected to understand what their rights are in the event of a medication error.

If you have a loved one in a nursing home, you should know how medication errors can occur in nursing homes, the types of injuries that may result from them, and what kind of compensation may be available.

How Do Medication Errors Occur?

Medication errors can occur from a variety of causes. Some of the most common include but are not limited to:

  • Administering the wrong medication or dosage - If a staff member mixes up the doctor’s orders, a patient could get the wrong medication or the wrong dosage of the right medication. The patient might even miss a dose of their necessary medication.

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The Perils of Wandering in Nursing Homes: What You Need to Know 

 Posted on January 19, 2023 in Nursing Home Abuse

chicago nursing home injury lawyer Elopement and wandering are two of the biggest risks facing nursing home residents. While it is often assumed that elderly individuals with dementia or Alzheimer's disease are most likely to wander, any resident can become disoriented or confused and attempt to leave a facility. As such, it is important for facility staff and nursing home administrators to be aware of the risks of elopement and implement measures to protect residents from harm.

Who Is at Risk for Wandering?

Residents who are living with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease are at greatest risk for wandering or eloping from a nursing home facility. Those who have previously attempted to escape or have become lost outside the facility may also be more likely to wander. Additionally, those with vision impairments may be prone to wandering due to difficulty recognizing or understanding their surroundings. It is important for family members and caregivers alike to be aware of these warning signs so they can take steps to address them before it is too late.

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Understanding the “Granny Cam” Law in Illinois

 Posted on January 11, 2023 in Nursing Home Abuse

elmhurst nursing home abuse lawyerIn 2015, the Illinois legislature passed a law allowing family members to place cameras in the rooms of their loved ones who reside in nursing homes. This law is commonly referred to as the “Granny Cam” law, and it offers families peace of mind knowing that they can monitor their loved one’s daily activities and ensure that they are receiving quality care. Before you install a granny cam, however, there are several things you should know about how this law works.

Who Can Place a Camera?

Under the Granny Cam law, only certain family members—including the resident’s legal guardian or power of attorney, spouse, adult child, sibling, grandchild, or parent—are allowed to place a camera in a nursing home resident’s room. The family member must also provide notice to the facility before installing a camera and obtain permission from any other roommates residing in the same room. Under the law, a roommate who does not wish for a monitoring device to be installed in their room is to be moved by the facility to another room.

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Choking Hazards in Nursing Homes: What You Need to Know 

 Posted on January 05, 2023 in Nursing Home Abuse

chicago nursing home injury lawyerAs a family member of a nursing home resident, it is important for you to be aware of the potential choking hazards that exist in these facilities. Nursing home residents are at an increased risk of choking due to age-related issues such as cognitive impairment, dysphagia (difficulty swallowing), and muscle weakness. In addition, nursing homes often serve food items that can increase the risk of choking if not properly monitored. To help protect your loved one from harm, it is essential to understand common causes of choking, as well as prevention methods for reducing risks.

Common Causes of Choking in Nursing Homes

While any food item can pose a choking hazard for elderly individuals, there are some foods that are more likely than others. These include nuts and seeds, hard candy, gum, popcorn, raw vegetables (such as carrots and celery sticks), grapes and cherry tomatoes, raisins and other dried fruits, peanut butter and other sticky substances, and meats that have not been cut into small pieces. It is also important to remember that liquids can also be a choking hazard, as many elderly people cannot swallow thick liquids such as milkshakes or smoothies without assistance.

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Staffing Shortages During Holidays Increase Risk of Traumatic Brain Injuries at Nursing

 Posted on December 21, 2022 in Nursing Home Abuse

elmhurst nursing home lawyerHead injuries are one of the biggest risks for the elderly in long-term care. Elderly individuals are frail and inherently susceptible to falling. It is no wonder people 75 years and older wind up hospitalized as a result of traumatic brain injuries or TBI. In 2019, more than 223,000 people were hospitalized with TBI. This is nursing home abuse that has no place in a facility where residents are supposed to be cared for and protected. If your loved one has suffered a traumatic brain injury at a nursing home there are some legal options you should explore.

What is a Traumatic Brain Injury or TBI?

TBI is an injury that affects how the brain works. It is a leading cause of death and disability in the United States. A bump or a blow to the head can cause severe brain injuries that can be temporary or last forever.  

What Happens at Nursing Homes that Leads to TBI?

In the nation, one out of five people fall and either breaks their bones or injure their heads. Falls are the most common cause of traumatic brain injuries. A fall can lead to health complications related to head injuries that can be serious and sometimes fatal. Even if a resident recovers, their life can be forever changed. Here are some reasons why nursing home residents sustain a TBI:

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The Top Signs of Nursing Home Abuse

 Posted on December 19, 2022 in Nursing Home Abuse

cook county nursing home abuse lawyerState and federal laws are designed to protect nursing home residents and assisted living residents from abuse. Unfortunately, protecting residents is easier said than done. Nursing home residents may not be able to say they are abused because they have dementia or are afraid to speak up. Loved ones need to be their advocates. 

Nursing home abuse can take many forms, from emotional to physical. If your loved one is spending their last years at a nursing home, they deserve dignity and quality care. More than 1.4 million people are living in nursing homes. This blog will cover how to recognize the signs of physical abuse in a nursing home resident.

Noticing Nursing Home Abuse

Abuse is prevalent in nursing homes because many older people are vulnerable to abuse due to health issues, including conditions causing cognitive impairment. Detecting nursing home abuse may not be easy, but your loved ones are counting on you to be vigilant. Here are some signs that may indicate abuse:

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Report Suggests Nursing Home Injuries From Malnutrition and Chemical Restraint

 Posted on December 13, 2022 in Neglect

chicago nursing home neglect lawyerA report from the Human Rights Watch suggests that neglect and isolation caused serious injuries to many people living in nursing homes in recent years. The report claims that many residents did not receive the most basic needs to ensure a decent quality of life. Staffing shortages have been a longstanding issue that have only intensified in recent years. The quality of care diminished even more, exposing troubling trends. If you or a loved one has been abused or neglected at an Illinois nursing home, you have every right to try to ensure that those responsible are held accountable.

Inappropriate Use of Psychotropic Medications

Psychotropic medications are used to treat mental disorders, including depression and anxiety. Unfortunately, some staff members inappropriately use the medications to subdue nursing home residents and keep them sleeping. The misuse of antipsychotic drugs and sedatives to control the behavior of nursing home residents is known as a chemical restraint. What is equally alarming is that this group found that these drugs are administered without obtaining consent from residents or their families. Side effects of the medication included confusion, lethargy, and sleepiness. In more serious cases, misuse of psychotropic medications can lead to death.

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Staffing Shortages at Nursing Homes Linked to Bedsores

 Posted on December 06, 2022 in Bed Sores

chicago nursing home injury lawyerA new study by the University of Chicago found that the number of bedsores at nursing homes continues to be underreported in the United States. When a nursing home resident develops bedsores it is usually due to substandard care and inadequate staffing levels. Unfortunately, nursing homes have failed to replace staff that quit after the pandemic and 82 percent of facilities in the nation did not meet minimum staffing requirements by the federal government before the pandemic. This is alarming especially if a family member is the one with these painful and life-threatening injuries. 

Why do Bedsores Form?

Bedsores or pressure ulcers develop when the blood supply to the skin is cut off for more than two to three hours. As the skin dies, bedsores begin to form and the skin turns red. It is a clear sign that something is not right.

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Ensuring Nursing Home Safety

 Posted on November 30, 2022 in Nursing Home Abuse

cook county nursing home abuse lawyerFox News Channel reported last month that the buildings department in Chicago fined the owner of a senior housing facility $1,500 following the deaths of three residents during a brief May heat wave. The buildings department found 11 code violations. The story is alarming to many people who have loved ones living in nursing homes in the Chicago area.

Everybody wants to assume the nursing home they are leaving their loved one at will be committed to providing the best possible care, but the unfortunate truth remains that too many nursing homes cut back on their services as soon as guests leave and nursing home abuse occurs in too many instances. 

Nursing Home Examination Checklist

When you are in the process of examining nursing homes for your loved one, begin by ensuring a nursing home is Medicaid certified, meaning they have passed an inspection by a state government agency. Also ensure a nursing home offers specialized services, such as special care units for residents with dementia.

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