Most families go to great lengths to choose the right Illinois nursing home facility; one that they believe will take excellent care of their elderly loved ones. We have faith that caregivers will meet the medical and day-to-day needs of our parents and grandparents while treating them with respect and compassion. Yet all too often, our trust is betrayed when our family members become victims of nursing home abuse and neglect. This is where an experienced medical malpractice lawyer can help, as an experienced attorney can help you recover compensation for your losses.
The neglect and outright abuse of elders in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities is a growing epidemic that has heartbreaking impacts on elderly people and their families.
It’s estimated that as many as 2.1 million older Americans suffer nursing home abuse each year, according to the National Institute of Justice. Many more cases likely go unreported because elder abuse and neglect isn’t always apparent.
While nursing home abuse may be difficult to identify, its consequences are clear. Seniors who are forced to endure neglect and other forms of abuse frequently suffer disabling injuries, failing health, and reduced quality of life.
Research indicates that victims of elderly abuse tend to die at a younger age, regardless of whether they are affected by chronic or life-threatening conditions.
If you believe someone you love has been a victim of elder abuse in a nursing home or other long-term care facility, it’s important to seek legal counsel. By proving that abuse, neglect or exploitation occurred, you and your loved one may have grounds for a nursing home abuse lawsuit.
Legally, the differences between neglect and abuse are fairly well-defined. Abuse is a more active process, where the defendant takes some sort of action that is harmful to the victim.
Cases of neglect are characterized by inaction or a failure to act appropriately. So if nursing home staff ignored a senior citizen for days on end, this would be considered neglect since it involves inaction and failure to act in an accordance to one’s duty to the victim. If a nursing home caretaker were to physically strike a senior or stole money from their account, then this would be considered an act of abuse since it is more active in nature.
Nursing home abuse takes many forms. It may be physical, emotional, or financial in nature. Mistreatment of the elderly can range from obvious abuse, such as battery or even sexual abuse, to more subtle neglect, such as the failure to provide prompt medical treatment or assist with personal hygiene.
Complicating matters, many elderly people suffer from dementia or disabilities that make it difficult to ask for help. Others may be hesitant to report abuse out of embarrassment, shame, or fear of retaliation. Many times, it takes an observant family member to notice the signs of abuse. Sadly, sometimes mistreatment isn’t identified until it is too late.
Signs and symptoms of nursing home abuse and neglect can include, but are not limited to, the following:
Another relatively common form of elder abuse is called involuntary seclusion.
Involuntary seclusion of a senior may occur if the nursing home staff leaves the senior alone for long periods of time, without a roommate and without contact. Often, these victims are bed-bound, so they are unable to get up and seek out companionship from fellow residents.
Involuntary seclusion abuse can have a profound and devastating impact on a senior citizen’s overall health and psyche, as they may feel depressed, lonely and those suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s disease may see a more rapid decline in condition.
Nursing home neglect and abuse takes an immeasurable toll on patients and their loved ones. Families can be left with the burden of medical bills and guilt, while victims suffer disability, disfigurement, emotional anguish, and a reduced quality of life.
A nursing home abuse claim may not be able to undo the pain, but it can provide important financial support to help you and your family begin the recovery process. Phillips Law Offices can help you file a lawsuit in an attempt to hold nursing home facilities accountable by recovering compensation for your losses and motivating the nursing home system to improve care by hiring better personnel, maintaining adequate staffing, and providing proper training.
The more people who come forward and report cases of misconduct, neglect, abuse, and exploitation, the better the chances of avoiding similar elder abuse and neglect cases in the future.
Our elders shouldn’t have to suffer in silence. If someone you love has been the victim of nursing home abuse, exploitation, and neglect, we can help you find justice. The attorneys of Phillips Law Offices have been successfully assisting nursing home patients and their families in obtaining full and fair financial compensation for more than 75 years.
If you’re ready to work with one of the top law firms in the Midwest, contact the Chicago nursing home abuse lawyers at Phillips Law Offices for a free consultation. Our seasoned medical malpractice attorneys will evaluate your case, explain your legal options, and fight to restore justice and dignity for your elderly loved one. Call our law offices today at (312) 346-4262.