Chicago, IL– Illinois is among one of the top states where nursing home abuse and neglect complaints are reported. According to a consultant’s investigation, Illinois “had the second-highest number of substantiated complaints per facility compared with similar states, with one out of five long-term facilities in the state having the lowest federal rating–one star,” reports the Chicago Tribune (1).
Illinois has not only been recognized for its rising number of nursing home abuse and neglect cases but also its lax regulations. This has resulted in facilities being “cited repeatedly for the same violations.”
Illinois’ lax regulations put vulnerable nursing home residents at risk–and in danger.
When nursing homes are cited over and over again for the same violations, it generally means the penalty isn’t harsh enough to further prevent the behavior from continuing. Essentially, what this means is that if a nursing home is cited for neglect more than once, little is being done to actually get the facility to correct its problem area.
According to the consultant’s investigation, it appears the lax regulations stem from the state failing to “maintain minimum staffing of its own inspectors.” Although the state has hired a new management team since the investigation was conducted, staffing shortages remain an issue in nursing homes. The truth is, many nursing homes are understaffed, which means the resident-to-staff ratio is high–too high.
Although nursing home resident advocates continue to work on addressing these issues that put our aging population at risk, you can take some steps on your own to ensure your loved one’s rights are not being ignored by staffers.
How to protect your loved one who is living in a Chicago, IL nursing home
Nursing homes are meant to serve as a place where aging individuals can go when they can no longer care for themselves or need assistance with day-to-day tasks. Instead, many facilities have become unsafe places for our aging population to live. As of Nov. 2021, 635 of the 704 nursing homes in Illinois were recognized for having infection-related deficiencies (2).
ProPublica also shared that 164 homes were recognized for having serious deficiencies. Now, because nursing home issues cannot be corrected overnight, it is up to you to ensure your loved one is receiving the care and attention they deserve. Below you’ll find a few tips on how you can do this.
- Visit your loved one regularly.
One of the most effective ways of telling whether your loved one is being cared for and respected is by visiting them often. This allows you to survey their living conditions as well as their physical condition. If you spot an abnormality, don’t be afraid to speak up and demand an explanation.
If nursing home staffers cannot explain concerning marks or why your loved one’s behavior is off, don’t hesitate to contact a Chicago, IL nursing home abuse lawyer here at Dinizulu Law Group, Ltd. Our skilled team of attorneys can review the information you provide to determine if there may be more details to the story than staffers are providing you with.
- Install a camera in your loved one’s room.
If you’re unable to visit your loved one regularly or as often as you’d like, they do have the right to have an electronic monitoring device installed in their room. Under Illinois law (3), a nursing home resident “shall be permitted to conduct authorized electronic monitoring of the resident’s room through the use of electronic monitoring devices placed in the room.”
- Contact a Chicago, IL nursing home abuse attorney if you think your loved one’s well-being has been put in jeopardy.
While most people assume that it is only necessary to contact a nursing home abuse law firm after an issue arises, this isn’t always the case. At Dinizulu Law Group, Ltd., we offer both legal advice and guidance, even if you aren’t sure whether you have a valid case against a nursing home. Rather than wait for something bad to happen, we encourage you to contact us if you suspect something isn’t right at your loved one’s nursing home.
If it turns out you do have a case, we’ll be ready to provide you with legal representation.
As much as we would like for nursing homes in Illinois to meet federal and state standards, dozens that refuse to do this. In the event you suspect your relative is living in an unsafe or unsanitary nursing home, contact Dinizulu Law Group, Ltd. so that one of our experienced Chicago nursing home abuse lawyers can address your concerns.
Dinizulu Law Group, Ltd. can be reached at:
221 North La Salle Drive, Suite 1100
Chicago, IL 60601