The Illinois Department of Public Health oversees and regularly inspects approximately 1,200 licensed nursing homes across the state. If your loved one is a resident in one of these facilities and you suspect they are being mistreated, you may want to consult with a Normal nursing home abuse lawyer for information about reporting abuse and to determine if you have grounds for a civil claim. A compassionate injury attorney could help make sure you and your loved one are fairly compensated for the harm that has been done.
Types of Nursing Home Abuse
Nursing homes licensed by the state are required to comply with the Illinois Nursing Home Care Act, which prohibits purposeful or negligent physical injury, including sexual assault, the infliction of mental anguish, and negligent care. An experienced attorney in Normal could gather evidence to prove nursing home abuse took place.
Illinois nursing home employees are not permitted to restrain or confine a resident as punishment or because it is convenient for staff. A resident must consent to the use of restraints. For example, if a resident is afraid of falling out of bed, a restraint may be requested to alleviate that fear. Residents cannot be forced to take psychotropic drugs other than in an emergency, and they must consent if antidepressants or anti-anxiety medications are to be administered. Residents also may not be reprimanded with a physical punishment such as hitting or slapping.
Nursing home residents cannot be denied visits and communication with others in any form. They cannot be discriminated against.
Residents are protected by law from sexual assault by staff and other patients. Nursing homes are required to assess patients’ security and safety. These assessments are conducted by a qualified psychologist to identify residents who may be at risk for committing violent acts. Appropriate preventative solutions are determined, including suitable matching of resident roommates.
Nursing homes have a duty to provide a proper ratio of staff to residents, including a minimum number of hours per day the staff should devote to patients needing constant and intermediate care. The nursing home must maintain a written record of all financial transactions that involve patients’ money, which should not be co-mingled in the nursing home’s bank account.
Signs of Senior Resident Abuse
More than 100,000 vulnerable Illinois residents live in nursing homes. Many of them may not be able to advocate for themselves if they are abused or neglected. Some signs that abuse could be occurring include:
- Bruising or welts on the ankles or wrists
- Missing valuables, such as jewelry or cash
- Unexplained injuries
- Lethargy or slurred speech
- Dramatic weight loss or increased thirst
- Changes in personality
If a resident of a nursing home is demonstrating any of these signs, it is important to speak with an attorney in Normal immediately. An experienced lawyer could help hold the facility accountable for their actions.
What You and a Normal Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Can Do if You Suspect Abuse
If your loved one was mistreated in an assisted living facility, contact a Normal nursing home abuse lawyer immediately. With strong legal counsel, you could recover financial compensation for the harm done to your loved one.
You have two years to file a typical nursing home abuse lawsuit in Illinois. Call today for a free legal consultation and guidance to protect your loved one.