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Arlington Heights nursing home abuse lawyersNursing homes are meant to provide quality care for elderly or disabled individuals who need assistance with their daily needs. Unfortunately, some nursing homes do not live up to these obligations. Because nursing home residents are so vulnerable, they can suffer serious harm if a facility or its staff members are negligent in providing the care they need. Sadly, many residents are the victims of nursing home abuse. Family members should be sure to understand the possible types of abuse that can affect their loved one, and in cases where abuse has occurred, they will want to work with a personal injury attorney to understand their legal options.

Forms of Nursing Home Abuse

Abuse may be committed against nursing home residents by a facility’s staff members or by other residents. Some ways that a nursing home patient may be abused include:

  • Physical abuse - This may include hitting, slapping, shoving, or other actions that inflict physical pain and discomfort. Because nursing home patients are often in frail physical condition and susceptible to harm, these actions can lead to serious injuries and permanent impairment.
  • Verbal or emotional abuse - Staff members may shout at, insult, berate, harass, or intimidate patients, or they may purposely isolate them from others or ignore their requests for aid or assistance. This can cause a great deal of emotional harm to residents, leading to depression, anxiety, and social withdrawal.
  • Sexual abuse - Sadly, the vulnerability of nursing home patients may lead staff members or other residents to take advantage of them sexually, especially when patients suffer from dementia or experience other issues that make it difficult for them to tell others about what has happened to them. Sexual abuse may include forced sexual contact, taking sexually explicit pictures of a person, forcing a person to disrobe, or committing sexual harassment involving inappropriate speech or behavior.
  • Improper restraint - Staff members may use physical restraints to confine a resident to a bed or chair, and these may include strapping a person’s wrists or ankles to a bed or chair, using bed rails to prevent a person from leaving their bed, or using belts or trays to force a person to remain in a chair. Chemical restraints such as sedatives or other drugs may also be used by staff members if they believe a patient is being troublesome. Restraints should only be used when they are medically necessary, and they should not be used to restrict a resident’s freedom.
  • Financial exploitation - Caregivers or other people who are close to a nursing home resident may coerce or manipulate them into turning over their money or property or making changes to their will. In some cases, a person may commit identity theft by using a resident’s personal information to open credit cards, make purchases, or obtain loans.

Contact Our Rolling Meadows Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys

If your loved one has suffered harm while residing at a nursing home, Newland & Newland, LLP can help you determine whether their injuries were the result of abuse or neglect. We will help you understand your legal options for recovering compensation, and we will work to ensure that those who caused your loved one’s injuries are held responsible for their wrongdoing. Contact our Arlington Heights nursing home injury lawyers at  847-797-8000 to set up your free consultation today.

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Rolling Meadows nursing home neglect attorneysPutting a loved one in a nursing home can be a difficult decision, and it is one that is often made out of necessity, since family members may not be able to provide the ongoing care an elderly person needs. Unfortunately, some nursing homes fail to provide the appropriate level of care, and this can cause residents to experience serious injuries due to neglect. In these cases, families will want to work with an attorney to understand who was responsible for the harm suffered by their loved one and determine how to take legal action against a negligent nursing home.

Nursing Home Neglect Injuries

Staff members at a nursing home should always be attentive to patients’ needs. Unfortunately, many nursing homes are understaffed, or they may employ staff members that are not properly trained. This can result in a lack of proper supervision of patients and a failure to address concerns that could affect residents’ health and well-being. Some common injuries that can occur because of neglect include:

  • Malnutrition or dehydration - If staff members do not ensure that patients are eating the proper food and drinking enough liquids, this can lead to a serious decline in a person’s overall health. In these cases, patients may experience weight loss, fatigue, dizziness, confusion, mental health issues, or loss of consciousness.
  • Falls - Patients who have mobility issues may need assistance getting into or out of bed or moving throughout a nursing home during their daily routines. Failure to provide help or failure to address tripping or slipping hazards in a nursing home could cause residents to fall down and suffer injuries such as broken bones, brain trauma, or damage to internal organs.
  • Bedsores - Residents who are bedridden or who spend most of their time sitting down should be moved regularly to prevent the development of sores on the parts of their body that remain in contact with beds, wheelchairs, or other surfaces. If bedsores are not addressed promptly, they can become infected and threaten a person’s overall health.
  • Lack of medical care - All of a patient’s medical needs should be attended to by nurses or other personnel with the proper training. If a patient does not receive the proper medical care, a serious condition could go undiagnosed, or they may not receive the medications necessary to maintain good health.
  • Wandering and elopement - If patients with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease are not properly supervised, they may wander into hazardous areas of a nursing home, or they may leave the premises altogether, putting them at risk of suffering harm due to slip and fall accidents, being hit by a car, or robberies.

Contact Our Arlington Heights Nursing Home Negligence Attorneys

If your loved one has been injured as a resident at a nursing home, Newland & Newland, LLP can work with you to determine whether this occurred because of neglect or other forms of negligence. We will help you understand your legal options for holding a nursing home responsible for the harm done to your family. Contact our Schaumburg nursing home neglect lawyers today at 847-797-8000 to arrange a free consultation.

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Palatine nursing home negligence attorney

According to the National Center on Elder Abuse, the issue of nursing home neglect first gained widespread public attention back in the 1970s, during a time when long-term care facilities lacked much-needed regulation. Since then, incidents of elderly abuse and neglect continue to remain prevalent in nursing homes, largely due to the growing elderly demographic. Our senior populations are living longer, resulting in a greater number of people being placed in long-term care facilities. Factors such as low pay, stressful working conditions, and staff shortages sadly cause the quality of care to be compromised, creating countless incidents of injuries and neglect. 

Do You Suspect Abuse or Neglect?

Cases of abuse can be particularly difficult for a victim's family members to uncover, especially for those relatives who are unable to visit their loved ones on a regular basis. For many long-term care residents, however, their family members are their eyes and ears when it comes to their health. Whether you have the luxury of making frequent visits to your loved one’s place of residence or simply speak to him or her occasionally on the phone, if you suspect he or she is not being properly cared for, it is important to investigate further. Here are some clear signs that your family member or friend may be experiencing a form of nursing home abuse:

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Rolling Meadows nursing home negligence lawyer

Many news outlets have reported on the alarming rise of nursing home abuse and neglect over the past few years. Many families put their trust in long-term care facilities if their loved ones can no longer live on their own. According to the Quad-City Times, the Illinois Department of Public Health recently fined a local facility thousands of dollars for neglecting the treatment of a resident’s wound, which was not only discovered to be improperly cleaned and bandaged, but also lacking the basic record keeping required to provide the necessary care for the injury. This same nursing facility was fined even more--an astonishing $75,000--by the IDPH just a few years earlier for more cases of negligence.

What the Law Considers Neglect

The above incident and thousands like it across the country are examples of how personal injury cases within nursing homes consist of more than just slip and falls. While repeated falls are in fact a common neglect-related occurrence in long-term care facilities, many other types of injuries constitute cases for abuse and neglect. The Nursing Home Care Act under Illinois State law defines neglect as a facility’s failure to provide any kind of adequate medical care, mental health treatment, or personal care. The law states that this includes the failure to provide psychiatric rehabilitation or any general assistance with daily living activities that are required to protect the resident from physical or mental harm. 

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Orangeburg County Elder Care Facility Facing Multiple Lawsuits

Court documents filed in Orangeburg County show that multiple people have filed claims against Phaire's Care as well as the owner of the elder care facility. One of the lawsuits was filed on behalf of Rena Mae Zinnerman's estate by Darlene Bethea who claims that the owner of the assisted living facility, Carlton Phaire, was transporting Zinnerman along with three other residents when he had an accident. Zinnerman died 10 days after the crash due to her injuries. Bethea is now pursuing a wrongful death claim against Phaire.

A second lawsuit was filed by Jason Broughton on behalf of Judy Broughton's estate claiming medical malpractice. Broughton claims that Judy suffered medical complications and injuries before becoming a resident at the facility, but later that month she was admitted to Trident Medical Center with Stage III and IV wounds. The lawsuit says she was not given proper treatment and care by the staff and consequently died due to her treatment.

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