According to ThinkProgress.org, the median age of parolees was 51 years old as of 2010, and inmates over the age of 65 are the fastest-growing demographic of the U.S. prison population. Additionally, researchers have determined that inmates are more likely to experience health problems such as hypertension, arthritis, asthma, and hepatitis, and studies have indicated that for many prisoners, their physiological age is more than a decade older than their chronological age.
In the wake of the growing need for long-term care for parolees, many states have adopted laws mandating background checks for nursing home applicants. In the state of Illinois, for example, nursing home administrators must conduct criminal background checks on all applicants; however, if an applicant has a criminal record, that does not necessarily mean that the facility has to reject him or her.
The nursing home merely has to use the information to provide reasonable accommodations to ensure the safety of its current residents. Unfortunately, the system is not foolproof, and resident-on-resident abuse is a real problem across the country.
If you think your loved one was a victim of sexual assault or abuse and you want to file a nursing home lawsuit, do not go through the nursing home; turn to the Dinizulu Law Group, Ltd. instead. Yao O. Dinizulu will evaluate your case, gather evidence, interview witnesses, and help you pursue the maximum possible compensation. Call 312-384-1920 to schedule a consultation with a nursing home abuse lawyer in Chicago.
Could My Loved One Be Residing with a Sex Offender?
Pursuant to Section 2-201.6 of the Nursing Home Care Act, nursing home administrators must give identified offenders who pose a risk to other residents their own room in the facility. Unfortunately, this is often a subjective determination, and the Chicago Tribune reports that since 2007, more than a dozen nursing homes have failed to implement a care plan to monitor a convicted sex offender or failed to notify local law enforcement that they were housing one.
Thus, although there are laws in place to protect nursing home residents from convicted sex offenders, they are not infallible, and it is ultimately up to the staff to abide by the legal requirements.
How Can I Protect My Loved One from Other Residents?
When you are considering prospective nursing homes for your loved one, you can ask administrators if they have any identified offenders residing at the facility. Although the staff does not have to provide you with any names, they must share the fact that they house convicted felons in their nursing home.
If your loved one has a roommate in the facility, you should also make it a point to get to know the roommate and his or her family. Most people enjoy talking about themselves, and chances are the roommate will be happy to answer questions regarding his or her life prior to entering the home.
You should feel comfortable about the long-term care arrangements you have established, so if you have any concerns about the other individual residing with your loved one, talk to the staff about changing rooms. At the end of the day, you can protect your loved one from abuse by taking a proactive approach and stopping it before it happens.
If you think your loved one has been the victim of abuse at a long-term care facility and you want to file a nursing home lawsuit, turn to the Dinizulu Law Group, Ltd. Call 312-384-1920 to schedule a consultation with an elder abuse attorney in Chicago. You can learn more about nursing home abuse claims in Illinois by visiting USAttorneys.com.