If you’re thinking of relocating a family member of yours to live in a nursing home in Chicago, IL or the surrounding area, it’s important that you take the time to review with them some ways they can reduce their chances of becoming a victim of elder abuse. Why is this important to do? Well, in 2017, Illinois Adult Protective Services received 16,507 reports of abuse, neglect, and financial exploitation of an elderly individual [Source: Illinois Department on Aging]. Although not all reports involved nursing home residents, the fact is, one in five of those victims were 86 years of age or older, which is the age of many nursing home residents.
Because nursing home residents are vulnerable as most suffer from some sort of illness that impacts their physical and/or cognitive abilities, it is important you take the time to help them understand what they need to do to avoid from becoming the next victim.
According to the National Council on Aging, your loved one should:
- Take care of their health. This includes taking only the prescribed medication their physician authorized them to have, eat healthy and nutritious meals regularly, and consume enough water to avoid dehydration.
- If they become depressed at any point during their stay in a nursing home, remind them that professional help is available.
- Encourage them to attend support groups as well as join any activity groups to avoid from alienating themselves from others. The last thing you want is your loved one to fall victim to depression which could require that they become medicated. The truth is, depression can be debilitating and could lead to staff taking advantage of them.
- Explain to them the importance of planning for their future. If your loved one is on the verge of needing around the clock care but isn’t quite ready to live in a nursing home, encourage them to plan accordingly for their future. When doing so, they should “address health care decisions to avoid confusion” as well financial ones such as how their care will be paid for and who will be designated to make those payments when they no longer can. This is extremely important for them to do to avoid from becoming the victim of financial exploitation.
- Explain to them their rights as a nursing home resident. All nursing home residents have rights and if your loved one still has the mental capacity to understand that he/she possesses these rights and can exercise them at any given time, it can help reduce the chances of them being abused, neglected, or mistreated in any kind of way.
In the event you have a family member living in a Chicago nursing home who has complained to you about how the staff has treated him/her, don’t wait for another incident to occur before you contact Chicago, IL nursing home abuse lawyer Yao O. Dinizulu, Esq. At Dinizulu Law Group, Ltd., we take complaints very seriously and can help you and your loved one recognize the staff member(s) for their inappropriate and possibly even illegal behavior.
You can contact Dinizulu Law Group, Ltd. at:
221 North La Salle Drive, Suite 1100
Chicago, IL 60601