Staff members who are required to monitor and care for nursing home residents have a significant amount of responsibilities. Between feeding, bathing, and assisting them from one place to the next, the tasks these staff members must complete are endless. And even after they render the care that is expected of them, they still have a very important job to do—protect residents from being abused and neglected.
The sad reality is, many nursing home residents today are harmed and neglected by poorly trained and cruel staff members as well as other residents. While some of these cases of mistreatment are brought to light, a large number of them are not. Sometimes, it is unknown that a resident is being abused, but other times, these cases are witnessed by other workers employed at the facility but are never reported.
To be clear, nursing home staff members are required by law to report cases of abuse and neglect. Failure to report these acts to the appropriate agency could land them in jail and having to pay fines.
Now, as someone who may have a friend or relative living in a nursing home in Chicago, you might be wondering why staff members who witness harmful acts inflicted by their counterparts would choose not to submit a complaint. After all, their complaint could result in disciplinary action being taken that could potentially get this individual removed from the facility so that he/she could not harm another vulnerable resident. Now, although these staff members probably can provide an excuse to justify their reasoning for not taking appropriate action, we came across a few reasons of our own from My Alzheimer’s Story.
- There may be certain nursing home workers who do not know what would be considered an act of abuse. The source suggests that there may be workers employed within the facility that have been in the industry for a long period of time and aren’t familiar with how the rules and regulations have evolved. There may also be newer staff members who haven’t been properly trained and are unaware of what type of behavior would constitute as an act of abuse, hence, they don’t know to report it.
- Abuse and neglect might be the norm in certain facilities. If more than one health care worker is engaging in abusive behavior, then others might assume that just because it is common, it is “okay.” This can directly result in nursing home staff abusing and mistreating residents regularly and looking the other way if and when it does occur.
- Workers fear if they report a case of abuse they will be retaliated against. Many individuals feel that if they come forward to report a coworker for engaging in behavior that could lead to them being fired and even incriminated, not only might that person retaliate against them, but the other staff at the facility may also “shun” them for making the report.
- “Long terms care facilities are ideal stomping grounds for people who enjoy abusing the weak and vulnerable.” There are plenty of health care workers who enter the workforce as a nursing home care provider because they care about those who no longer are able to take care of themselves. However, there are also workers who take pleasure in harming individuals who simply cannot defend themselves both physically and verbally.
Now, because you can’t always rely on the staff at a nursing home to report cases of abuse and neglect, you need to always be keeping an eye out for signs that might indicate they aren’t receiving the proper treatment by those who should be caring for them. In the event you find anything to be suspicious and can’t seem to get straight answers from the staff when questioned about the signs or behavior you observed, then contact Dinizulu Law Group, Ltd. to speak with a Chicago, IL nursing home abuse lawyer. Our skilled attorneys will assess the information you provide to determine if our legal assistance is needed.
You can contact Dinizulu Law Group, Ltd. at:
221 North La Salle Drive, Suite 1100
Chicago, IL 60601