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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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Schaumburg medical negligence attorney Legionnaires disease

First discovered following a 1976 outbreak at an American Legion convention in Philadelphia, Legionnaires’ disease left affected attendees with serious lung infections -- a type of pneumonia -- caused by bacteria known as Legionella. Research has shown that this bacteria grows in poorly managed water systems, often due to negligence on behalf of a building’s owner, such as those who own a nursing home facility that houses a complex water system. When mist from this infected water is inhaled, through showers or hot tubs, for example, residents can contract Legionnaires’ disease, posing grave risks to their health. The same bacteria that causes this disease was also responsible for cases of Pontiac fever that occurred in Michigan during the 1960s. 

The Prevalence of Legionnaires’ Cases Today

Although the disease earned its name back in the 1970s, cases of Legionnaires’ disease are still very prevalent today. The number of cases has fluctuated over time, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported there were nearly 10,000 cases in the United States in 2018. The CDC has also stated that this number is likely a misrepresentation of the actual number of people affected by the disease, as many cases are undiagnosed. 

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Rolling Meadows medical negligence attorney Legionnaires' disease

Named after a 1976 outbreak at an American Legion meeting, Legionnaires’ disease is a type of bacterial pneumonia brought on by inhaling mist in the air that is contaminated with Legionella bacteria. This bacteria is typically carried through water systems and air conditioning ventilation systems, and according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it is deadly to 1 in 10 people who contract the disease. Diagnosis sometimes emerges following medical malpractice or due to building maintenance negligence by the property owner, especially in hotels, resorts, and long-term-care facility settings, which are common environments for outbreaks.

Modes of Transmission and Diagnosis

Unlike some conditions, Legionnaires’ disease is not transmitted from person to person, so it cannot be contracted from interacting with someone who carries the bacteria. However, the circumstances surrounding how you picked up the bacteria and how or when you were diagnosed can all make a significant difference in your case when it comes to pursuing compensation for the damage to your health and the expenses you incurred because of the disease.

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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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