The Chicago Tribune reports on a heartwarming program that aims to protect long-term care residents from neglect and abuse. The government-funded advocacy program is drumming up support all over the country because of its effectiveness and ingenious simplicity.
The Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program operates in all 50 states under federal law. In 2015, its offices investigated 200,000 complaints regarding assisted-living facilities and nursing homes.
Advocates were able to resolve nearly 117,000 of those complaints in a way that satisfied the individual who filed the grievance. Volunteers and administrators also managed to resolve an additional 30,000 complaints at least partially.
The most common complaints related to substandard care, abuse, neglect, residents’ rights, and issues with admitting and discharging residents. In order to investigate and resolve these complaints under the program, volunteers may enter any nursing home or assisted living facility at any time, unannounced, and talk to any resident they wish.
The volunteers aim to respond to issues that residents or their families bring up, but they may also raise additional issues that they discover when visiting a nursing home. Program administrators handle all complaints in a confidential manner, unless residents want to reveal their identities to their family members.
Advocacy programs like the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program are great for addressing and resolving issues after they arise, but unfortunately, they cannot prevent substandard care, abuse, or neglect from occurring in the first place. If your loved one has been the victim of nursing home abuse, turn to the Dinizulu Law Group, Ltd. to determine the best way to proceed.
Our legal team will help you pursue compensation for medical bills and non-economic damages related to the abuse. Call 312-384-1920 to schedule a free consultation with a nursing home neglect lawyer in Chicago.
How Common Is Nursing Home Abuse?
When families choose a nursing home for their loved ones, they must consider a variety of factors, and standard of care is always at the top of the list. Unfortunately, nursing home neglect and abuse are far more common than most people realize, and they happen at facilities all across the country.
The statistics vary from source to source, and researchers can only take into account instances of reported abuse, but the National Council on Aging reports that 10 percent of senior citizens are the victims of some form of elder abuse every year.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention there are more than 15,000 nursing homes in the United States with 1.4 million residents. 10 percent of the overall resident population is 140,000 residents who have probably experienced some form of elder abuse. While this may not be an accurate estimate, even if one nursing home resident is the victim of abuse, it is one person too many.
If your loved one suffered physical, emotional, or financial abuse while living at a nursing home, contact the Dinizulu Law Group, Ltd. Call 312-384-1920 to schedule a free consultation with a nursing home abuse attorney in Chicago. You can learn more about nursing home neglect claims in Illinois by visiting the USAttorneys website.