Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect
The decision to place a loved one in a nursing home or other long-term care facility is not an easy one. Certainly, you do your due diligence in visiting the facilities, conducting your research, and interviewing staff and management, but you never know what your loved one’s day-to-day life will be like behind closed doors. Sadly, the rate of nursing home abuse and neglect is high. So high that it cannot be ignored. In fact, one study found that over a quarter of all nursing home residents are subject to physical abuse, and over 15 percent experience gross neglect. At the Fotopoulos Law Office, we represent Cook County residents and their families in nursing home abuse and neglect lawsuits. We can help you hold nursing home staff and management accountable for the harm your loved one has suffered.What Is Nursing Home Abuse?
Nursing home abuse is the intentional mistreatment of nursing home residents. While most people associated nursing home abuse with physical assaults, the term also includes other forms of abuse, such as:
- Psychological abuse,
- Sexual abuse, and
- Financial abuse.
If you have concerns about your loved one’s safety, a Cook County nursing home lawyer can help.What Is Nursing Home Neglect?
Nursing homes have a legal duty to provide for the basic needs of their residents. This includes assisting residents with their daily grooming, summoning medical attention when necessary, and providing residents with adequate nutrition. Nursing home staff should also ensure that residents who are able to get the chance to socialize and be around others. A nursing home is negligent if it fails to provide for the basic needs of a resident.Signs of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect
Nursing home abuse is often hard to recognize, as staff members usually try to cover their tracks. Additionally, loved ones may not be able to articulate what they are experiencing or may fear they won’t be taken seriously. Families with loved ones in a nursing home should keep an eye out for the following, as they are signs of abuse or neglect:
- Bedsores or pressure ulcers;
- Broken bones,
- Changes in a resident’s mood,
- Frequent falls,
- Unexplained bruising, and
- Weight loss.
A high turnover rate and visibly frustrated nursing home staff are also signs that something isn’t right.Causes of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect
For the most part, nursing home staff start off with the best of intentions. However, the realities of working in a nursing home can wear down even the most compassionate workers. For example, understaffing is a contributing cause in most instances of abuse and neglect. Over recent years, nursing homes have had a very difficult time maintaining adequate staffing levels. When fewer workers are responsible for carrying out the day-to-day operations of the facility, it can lead to burnout. In turn, staff members may become less patient and have less time to spend with each resident.
Another common cause of nursing home neglect and abuse is unqualified and poorly trained staff. In an effort to fill vacancies, nursing home management will often scramble to find anyone workers. This may mean bringing on employees without a background check or allowing them to care for patients without providing them with the necessary training.Schedule a Free Consultation with an Experienced Cook County Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Lawyer
If you believe that a loved one is experienced neglect or abuse at an Orland Park nursing home, reach out to the Fotopoulos Law Office for immediate assistance. We have over 20 years of hands-on experience investigating claims of nursing home negligence and abuse and know what it takes to bring a successful case. We handle all personal injury cases on a contingency basis, meaning we will never bill you for our services unless we can recover compensation on your behalf. To learn more, and to schedule a free consultation with an Illinois nursing home neglect and abuse lawyer, reach out to the Fotopoulos Law Office at 708-942-8400. You can also reach us through our online contact form.