Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect

Compassionate Elder Rights Advocate Serving Clients Throughout Cook County

The decision to place a loved one in a nursing home or other long-term care facility is not an easy one. While a family may perform due diligence in visiting facilities, conducting research, and interviewing a facility's staff and management, they will never know what their loved one's day-to-day life will be like behind closed doors. Sadly, the rate of nursing home abuse and neglect is high. In fact, one study found that more than one fourth of all nursing home residents are subject to physical abuse, and over 15 percent experience gross neglect. At Fotopoulos Law Office, we represent Cook County and Will 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 people may associate nursing home abuse with physical assaults, there are a variety of other forms of abuse, such as:

  • Verbal abuse
  • Emotional or psychological abuse
  • Improper restraint
  • Sexual abuse
  • Financial abuse

If you have concerns about your loved one's safety, our Cook County nursing home abuse 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, providing medical attention when necessary, and ensuring that residents receive adequate nutrition. Nursing home staff should also ensure that residents have the chance to socialize and be around others. A nursing home may be found to be negligent if it failed to provide for the basic needs of a resident, and patients may suffer serious harm due to nursing home neglect.

Signs of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect

Nursing home abuse and neglect are often hard to recognize. Staff members or others who commit abuse may try to cover their tracks, and a facility may attempt to conceal any practices that could cause patients to suffer harm. Additionally, an elderly or disabled person may not be able to articulate what they are experiencing, or they may fear they will not be taken seriously or that they could be punished for telling others about the abuse they have experienced. Families with loved ones in nursing homes should keep an eye out for the following, as they are potential signs of abuse or neglect:

  • Bedsores or pressure ulcers
  • Broken bones
  • Changes in a resident's mood
  • Frequent falls
  • Incontinence
  • Unexplained bruising
  • Weight loss
  • Social withdrawal
  • Fear of a staff member or a desire not to be left alone

A high turnover rate and visibly frustrated nursing home staff are also signs that something is not right. If it seems like a facility's staff members are too busy to provide the necessary care, this may be an indication that the nursing home is understaffed, which will affect residents' ability to receive the care and assistance they need.

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. In recent years, nursing homes have had a very difficult time maintaining adequate staffing levels. When fewer workers are available to carry out the day-to-day operations of the facility, this can lead to burnout among the remaining staff. In these situations, staff members may become less patient, and they may have less time to spend with each resident.

Unqualified and poorly trained staff is another common cause of nursing home neglect and abuse. In an effort to fill vacancies, nursing home management will often scramble to find workers. This may mean bringing on employees without performing background checks or allowing staff members to care for patients without providing them with the necessary training.

Contact a Will County Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Lawyer

If you believe that your loved one is experienced neglect or abuse at a nursing home in Orland Park, Joliet, or other surrounding communities, reach out to Fotopoulos Law Office for immediate assistance. We have over 20 years of hands-on experience investigating claims of nursing home negligence and abuse, and we 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 have recovered compensation on your behalf. To learn more about how we can help with your case, reach out to Fotopoulos Law Office at 708-942-8400 or through our online contact form and schedule a free consultation today.

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