A large percentage of the individuals occupying nursing homes suffer from one or more health conditions. Alzheimer’s, or another form of dementia, is common among nursing home residents as is high blood pressure and heart disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (1).
Some of the other documented health conditions nursing home residents suffer from include depression and diabetes. While each of these chronic health issues differs from one another, they share something in common–they all require ongoing treatment.
For instance, a nursing home resident who suffers from Alzheimer’s may require daily medication or strict supervision. Someone who has high blood pressure might also need to take medication regularly and follow a specific diet. Unfortunately, not all residents with and without health issues get the care or attention they need, even when they ask for it.
When a nursing home resident’s complaint or needs go ignored by staffers, this constitutes neglect.
Nursing home residents depend on staffers for support, both mental and physical, as well as assistance. Most of the people living in nursing homes today need help getting around, bathing, and eating. When they feel ill, they seek attention from nursing home staffers as these are the only people available to address their complaints.
While you would hope that a nursing home resident’s complaint would be addressed, understaffing often gets in the way of this. Dozens of nursing homes in Illinois today are understaffed, resulting in a high resident-to-worker ratio. Without enough workers available to tend to each residents’ needs, many are neglected.
What are some examples of nursing home neglect?
Nursing home neglect is defined as the “failure to provide adequate medical or personal care or maintenance” (2). When a nursing home resident doesn’t receive the medical or personal care they need, their physical and/or mental health can deteriorate.
Some examples of nursing home neglect include:
- Failing to bathe a resident regularly.
- Not providing a resident with ample food and water.
- Failing to treat a resident’s physical injuries or illnesses.
- Leaving a resident lying in bed for hours or days knowing it can lead to the development of bedsores.
- Ignoring a resident who complains of aches and pains. With the COVID-19 pandemic still posing a threat to our health, it’s important for staffers to assess a resident’s condition when they complain of feeling ill.
Some signs of neglect might include:
- Dirty clothing or bedsheets.
- Bedsores that aren’t healing. Although some bedsores can take longer to heal than others, you should see improvement if they are being treated regularly. Bedsores are classified by stages, with stage 1 being less severe and stage 4 being the worst (3). If a bedsore reaches stage 4, there is a good chance it was never treated.
- Malnutrition. If your loved one is placed on a restricted diet and a caregiver fails to follow it, this too would be considered neglect.
- Unexplained broken bones or sprains
*Bruises can serve as both a sign of abuse and a sign of neglect. When a resident has unexplained bruising, it could mean they were either left unattended and fell or were physically harmed. If you notice bruising on your loved one, it’s a good idea to inquire about it first before jumping to conclusions.
Can I sue for nursing home neglect in Illinois?
Yes, you can sue for nursing home neglect in Illinois. However, you will need to be able to prove the negligence caused your loved one physical and/or mental harm. While gathering evidence to prove this can be challenging, our team of Chicago, IL nursing home abuse lawyers are more than capable of handling this and more.
So, if you believe your loved one isn’t getting adequate supervision or care while living in a Chicago nursing home, we recommend you contact our office and schedule an initial consultation with one of our trusted Chicago, IL nursing home neglect attorneys. Our attorneys have a great deal of experience with handling nursing home abuse and neglect cases and would be happy to review with you what your options are.
If we determine your loved one is a victim of abuse or neglect, you may be entitled to file a civil lawsuit against the facility or even the worker. This could allow your loved one to recover damages (i.e. financial relief) for their pain and suffering.
It’s worth noting that Illinois does impose a two-year deadline to file a nursing home abuse or neglect lawsuit and the clock begins ticking after the abuse or neglect occurred. If you’d like to discuss your case in-depth and find out if you should hire a nursing home abuse lawyer, contact us today at 1-312-384-1920.
You can contact Dinizulu Law Group, Ltd. at:
221 North La Salle Drive, Suite 1100
Chicago, IL 60601