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Cook County Nursing Home Restraint Injury LawyerNursing homes are required to provide a certain standard of care for residents under both state and federal law. The law prohibits nursing homes from using unreasonable physical, chemical, or emotional restraint methods simply because it is more convenient than providing real supportive care. Unfortunately, nursing homes are often understaffed and staff are often poorly trained or even abusive. It is essential to recognize signs of improper nursing home restraint methods so if your loved one is showing indications of improper restraint, you can take action right away. 

Physical Restraints 

Physical restraints may be the most common type of restraints because they are easy to use and readily available. Nursing home staff may restrain residents using legitimate restraint methods, such as ties, vests, or bedside rails, or makeshift restraints like belts, sheets, rope, or string. Physical restraints can cause serious injuries, including: 

  • Severe bruising


Chicago Nursing Home Abuse LawyerEveryone knows that the human body requires water. However, few realize just how quickly dehydration can occur. When a person’s body is already weakened due to age or illness, appropriate hydration is essential. Consequently, nursing home residents are at an especially high risk of dehydration-related consequences. Staff must be extra vigilant for signs of dehydration. If a resident is dehydrated, action must be taken immediately to prevent serious medical complications or death.

Symptoms of Dehydration in Nursing Homes

Dehydration occurs when the body loses more fluid than it consumes. Elderly individuals already have lower levels of hydration and many take medications that further lower the volume of water in their bodies. Nursing homes must carefully monitor the amount of water residents consume and look out for signs of dehydration such as:

  • Infrequent urination


Cook County Nursing Home Neglect LawyerAlthough it is common, diabetes is a very serious medical condition. Diabetes is especially dangerous in elderly people or those with co-occurring medical conditions. Individuals who experience cognitive decline from dementia and related illness are also at increased risk of severe diabetes complications. These individuals may not recognize the signs of dangerously high or low blood sugar or be able to express their concerns to others. This is why it is so important for nursing home staff to monitor diabetic residents and provide consistently high-quality medical care to these vulnerable individuals. Nursing home neglect can lead to severe diabetes-related injuries or death.

Residents with Diabetes Need to Be Closely Monitored

Diabetes affects blood glucose levels and is often managed using insulin shots. Because the consequences of poorly managed diabetes are so great for elderly and sick people, nursing homes must be vigilant. Staff should help diabetic residents maintain normal blood sugar levels and prevent hyperglycemia or hypoglycemia. Diabetes can differ greatly from one person to the next, so nursing homes should have a personalized plan for each diabetic resident. The staff should regularly monitor the resident’s blood sugars using a glucose meter. According to the Mayo Clinic, blood sugar levels should be tested multiple times a day, including between meals and before going to sleep.

Insulin injections can be used to regulate blood sugar. However, misuse of insulin is life-threatening. One elderly woman died after staff at a senior living center gave her four doses of insulin due to miscommunication between staff. The woman’s blood sugar was so low that it would not even register on the monitor. Her body could not survive the extremely low blood sugar and she passed away.


Chicago Nursing Home Abuse AttorneyOne of the greatest challenges faced by any long-term care facility is managing the balance between residents’ safety and independence. The individuals living in a nursing home deserve to have the same freedoms as any other adult. However, their freedom is sometimes limited to ensure the residents’ wellbeing. This is an especially crucial issue for residents with Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, or other conditions affecting cognition.

A key responsibility of any nursing home is preventing wandering and elopement of residents. When residents are not monitored properly, they can roam into unsafe areas of the nursing home or even leave the premises entirely. Sadly, in some cases, wandering and elopement leads to catastrophic or fatal injuries.  

Injuries Caused by Lack of Supervision of Nursing Home Residents

Most nursing home residents are elderly adults who spent decades building families, careers, and lives outside of the facility before arriving at the nursing home. Losing some of their independence and being confined to a nursing home is difficult regardless of whether the resident suffers from cognitive decline. However, individuals with reduced cognitive abilities or memory loss may have an especially hard time adapting to life inside of a nursing home. Some try to escape the facility. Others wander around the facility and become lost. A nursing home resident who wanders into a kitchen, supply closet, or other hazardous area of the facility may be seriously injured or even killed. Injured residents may be left suffering in pain for hours before staff find them.


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 Medication Error LawyerProviding medication to residents is a huge part of a nursing home’s responsibility. Elderly residents and those with serious medical issues rely on medications to manage pain and symptoms. For many, receiving their prescribed medications is the difference between life and death.

Medication errors can occur for many different reasons, but whatever the reasons, the impact can be catastrophic. Something as simple as mixing up two residents’ medications can lead to fatal consequences.

If your loved one passed away because of a medication mistake in a nursing home, you and your loved one deserve justice. The best way to hold the nursing home accountable may be to file a wrongful death claim against the facility.  


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.


Cook County Nursing Home Abuse LawyerAs anyone who has interacted with children can attest, children are bundles of energy. They love to run around and play. It seems like they never stop moving. As people age, they become less and less mobile. Many elderly people are confined to a wheelchair or their bed. They cannot move around or even shift their weight from one body part to another without help. Because being in one position for long periods of time can be very hard on the body and lead to bedsores, caregivers must regularly reposition elderly and sick individuals with low mobility.

Nursing home staff are expected to take the steps necessary to prevent bedsores in vulnerable residents. Unfortunately, some nursing homes neglect this crucial responsibility leading to painful, dangerous, and potentially deadly bedsores.

Pressure to the Skin Can Cause Wounds that Become Infected

When skin is under pressure for long periods of time, the skin is damaged and may even begin to die. This is called a bedsore or pressure ulcer. The best way to prevent bedsores is to avoid being in the same position for more than a couple of hours at most. Cushions and padding on wheelchairs can also help prevent bedsores.


Chicago Nursing Home Negligence LawyerHip fractures are one of the worst outcomes of a fall accident. While any type of fracture can be painful, hip fractures are particularly incapacitating. Over 300,000 elderly people are hospitalized with hip fractures every year. Women suffering from osteoporosis are at the highest risk of hip fractures but anyone can suffer a broken hip in a fall.

Broken hips take a massive toll. Most sufferers require surgery and must endure long, painful recoveries. Studies show that the 12-year mortality rate doubles after a hip fracture.

Sadly, many hip fractures are preventable. Nursing home neglect, mistakes, and substandard care increase the risk of preventable fall accidents.


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 Neglect LawyerThe majority of people living in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities take one or more medications each day. They may need the medicine to mitigate pain, lower triglycerides, reduce blood pressure, or treat infections. When used correctly, medications can be lifesaving. When used incorrectly, medications have the potential to seriously injure or kill a nursing home resident.

Most Common Types of Medication Errors

It is no secret that many nursing homes are understaffed and underfunded. Many facilities do not have enough staff to provide residents the high-quality care and attention they deserve. Employees are often overworked, underpaid, and undertrained. Staffing issues like these increase the chances of medical mistakes.

Research shows that preventable adverse drug events are common in nursing homes. Approximately 16 – 27 percent of nursing home residents will be victims of medication mistakes according to the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. Frighteningly, studies show that the number of medication mistakes in nursing homes is increasing.


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.


Chicago Nursing Home Abuse LawyerMany people are shocked to learn just how dangerous fall accidents can be for sick and elderly individuals. Something as simple as slipping in a pool of liquid can lead to catastrophic and even deadly fall injuries. The CDC reports that one out of every five falls causes serious injuries like hip fractures and head injuries. Falling is the leading cause of traumatic brain injury. Sadly, over 42,000 people died in fall accidents in 2020 alone.

Nursing home staff should be well aware of the deadly risk falling poses to residents and how to prevent fall accidents. Unfortunately, not all nursing homes take the precautions needed to prevent avoidable falls.

Reasons Nursing Home Patients Fall

Nursing home residents typically need extensive medical care and extra help with everyday tasks. However, many nursing homes are understaffed. This can mean that residents do not get the help they need. Nursing home neglect can lead to fall accidents in many different ways, including:


Cook County Nursing Home Abuse LawyerWhen we think of nursing home dangers, wandering and elopement, severe fall accidents, or other dramatic incidents may come to mind. However, in many cases, the most dangerous thing that a nursing home resident does each day occurs during mealtimes. Elderly individuals and those with disabilities may have difficulty chewing and swallowing food. While it may seem insignificant, something as simple as choking on a piece of food can be deadly for vulnerable nursing home residents. This is why it is so important for nursing home staff to carefully monitor residents during mealtimes and make any accommodations necessary to avoid choking.

If your loved one was injured or killed by a choking incident at a nursing home, read on to learn about your legal options.

Choking Hazards in Illinois Nursing Homes

Many nursing home residents are elderly. Many older individuals suffer from dry mouth which makes it harder to swallow food. Food can get stuck in the throat and block the airway. The problem is so common that choking is statistically the third-leading cause of unintentional injury death for people over the age of 65.  Candy, food, medications, and even water can be choking hazards for elderly people.


Cook County Personal Injury LawyerNursing home facilities and other long-term care facilities take care of our loved ones when they can no longer take care of themselves. Many nursing home residents have dementia, heart disease, and other age-related illnesses that will eventually take their life. However, some nursing home residents pass away prematurely because of substandard care in the nursing home. If your loved one died in a nursing home because of abuse or neglect, you may be able to hold the facility accountable through a wrongful death claim.  

Nursing Home Resident Deaths Caused By Neglect or Abuse

Staff in a nursing home facility have an obligation to provide skilled care to residents. Sadly, some nursing homes fail to meet the expectations anticipated by loved ones and required by Illinois law. Nursing home neglect or abuse can take many forms and may result in serious injury or death of a resident.

Wrongful death claims involving death of a nursing home resident may involve:


Chicago Nursing Home Abuse LawyerNursing homes should be places of safety and refuge for elderly and disabled people. Sadly, many nursing homes do not live up to these standards. Many different issues can lead to nursing home neglect and abuse. Negligent hiring policies, insufficient vetting of applicants, and insufficient training are three serious issues that increase the chances of a nursing home employee harming a resident.

Substandard Hiring Practices Can Lead to Abuse of Nursing Home Residents

Nursing home employees have the important job of caring for our loved ones when they can no longer care for themselves. Residents in a nursing home are often frail and in ill health. Many suffer from Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, and other cognitive diseases. Residents may not always be able to advocate for themselves and this puts them in a very vulnerable position. Consequently, the need for responsible, competent, compassionate staff can hardly be overstated.

Some nursing homes cut corners when hiring and training staff. They fail to perform a criminal background check or overlook red flags that could make a staff member more likely to abuse a resident. Nursing homes may also fail to perform drug tests or follow through with personal and professional references. These types of mistakes can lead to unqualified or even malicious staff working around vulnerable nursing home residents.


nursing home injury lawyerWith the consent and involvement of the person in question, a family must often make the difficult decision to move a parent, grandparent, or other loved one into an Illinois nursing home. People may move into nursing homes for many reasons, including complex health problems that require consistent monitoring and assistance. Families may not have the knowledge or availability to provide care for an elderly loved one and a residential care facility may be the best option. 

Because residents of nursing homes are generally elderly and often in poor health, additional conditions can be expected to appear during their stay. Nursing home staff should be alert and prepared to notice and diagnose further conditions, including physical injuries and mental deterioration. But when nursing home staff is undertrained, overworked, or negligent, serious conditions like Alzheimer’s and other neurological disorders may go undiagnosed. Failure to diagnose serious neurological conditions can lead to patients getting abused, wandering away, getting seriously hurt, and even dying

Symptoms of Dementia in Illinois Nursing Home Residents 

Dementia can be difficult to diagnose because symptoms often come on slowly and may be confused with general memory loss due to aging. However, common symptoms of Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia include: 


chicago nursing home abuse lawyerElderly residents of nursing home facilities often struggle with conditions that make it difficult to communicate. Dementia, confusion, weakened muscles in the mouth and throat, and illness or exhaustion can all challenge a patient’s ability to speak clearly and articulate what they are feeling. One unfortunate consequence of this is that patients may be suffering from pain or fever and be unable to let their caregivers know. 

Nursing home staff must be acutely aware of their patients’ condition and be on the alert for signs that something may be amiss. But when staff are overworked, undertrained, or if the nursing home’s resident-to-staff ratio is too high, serious problems may be left unnoticed. One particularly dangerous risk is an infection that becomes septic. Even if an infection is known, it can worsen and spread, presenting a potentially lethal danger to a resident. Recognizing and treating sepsis early is essential for preventing serious health consequences, up to and including death. 

Sepsis and Common Nursing Home Conditions

Sepsis is a condition caused by an infection that triggers an inappropriate full-body immune response. It requires immediate treatment to prevent tissue damage, major organ failure, and death. Sepsis can often be prevented through proper healthcare, but senior nursing home residents are at particular risk of developing sepsis because they often have catheters, bedsores, ulcers, multiple minor skin injuries, and other issues that make the development and spread of bacteria common. Their immune systems are often weakened and can be easily overwhelmed by bacteria that would present little or no challenge to a healthy body. 


shutterstock_570926716.jpgThe decision to place a parent in an Illinois nursing home or assisted living center can be a difficult and heartbreaking choice, especially if your parent is unhappy about it or suffers from dementia and does not fully understand the situation. Yet many aging adults are unable to care for themselves and certain health conditions can require the constant supervision and assistance of healthcare professionals, something that few adult children are equipped to provide on their own. 

Many families, therefore, decide to put their trust in nursing home staff and carefully select a facility where their parent or loved one will feel at home. Unfortunately, although it may be difficult to contemplate such a situation, nursing home staff do not always provide residents with the appropriate standard of care and even sometimes engage in elder abuse and neglect. One common form of elder abuse is financial abuse. If you think nursing home staff - or another resident - may be stealing from your parent, read on. 

Types of Elder Financial Abuse

While many of us may picture stealing from a nursing home resident as simply reaching into their wallet and taking out a few dollars that will not be missed, financial fraud can involve much more complex and sneaky behaviors. Some common types of financial abuse include: 

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