A Chicago Nursing Home Attorney has filed a lawsuit against a Lake Zurich nursing home in Cook County Circuit Court for allegedly neglecting one of its residents, according to the Lake County News-Sun. On December 29, 2006, the resident was admitted to Lexington Health Care Center of Lake Zurich nursing home under the precaution that she was at-risk for falls. The lawsuit alleges that over the course of a seven month span in 2007, the patient fell a total of five times, despite the nursing home’s knowledge of the patient’s risk of falling. As a result of one accident in August 2007, the patient complained to nursing home staff for several days about hip pain. The nursing home eventually took her to the hospital for x-rays. Hospital physicians diagnosed her with multiple left hip fractures and pneumonia. The plaintiff had to have surgery to repair the fractures. It is alleged that the resident will experience a significant loss of mobility in the future. The National Citizens’ Coalition for Nursing Home Reform defines elder neglect, in part, as failing to care for a resident in a way that avoids injury. Neglect does not have to be intentional, and a nursing home employee who is not properly trained is likely not to give adequate care. Included in their definition of neglect is failing to provide help with walking when needed and not paying attention to complaints for help (both of these allegations are being made in the Cook County lawsuit). If you believe a loved one in your family has been neglected by an Illinois nursing home, contact Abels and Annes to discuss legal options.
Sexual Abuse Reported At Jersey City Nursing HomeMarch 11, 2009 |
Law enforcement officers in Jersey City, New Jersey are investigating alleged sex abuse at a nursing home, according to NJ.com. They are looking into whether a 30 year old female resident with cerebral palsy was abused. The staff at Newport Nursing and Rehabilitation became aware of a potential problem when the patient, who needs a wheelchair to move, was found in a different room at the facility. The woman then told the staff that she had been inappropriately touched. The alleged abuse took place at the Newport Nursing and Rehabilitation Center last Friday in the early evening. Reportedly, the police are investigating a person who visits another resident on an ongoing basis. The National Center for Elder Abuse defines sexual abuse as sexual contact of any kind that is not consensual, or sexual contact with a person that is not capable of giving consent. They list signs of sexual abuse as bruising in the breast or genital area, the contraction of sexually transmitted diseases, bleeding in the genital area, clothing that is either torn, bloody or stained, or if the elder states he or she was abused. If you believe your loved one has been a victim of nursing home abuse or neglect in the Chicago area, contact Abels & Annes now for a consultation free of charge.
In Lake Isabella, California, three current and former Kern Valley Hospital District’s nursing home employees have been charged with abuse for administering drugs to elderly residents against their will, possibly costing some residents their lives, according to Bakersfieldnow.com. The three defendants include the home’s past director of nursing, past pharmacist, and current staff physician. The criminal complaint alleges that they forcibly administered psychotropic drugs to over 20 nursing home residents at the Kern Valley Hospital District’s nursing home. A lengthy investigation found that starting in 2006, to make nursing home residents who suffered from Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia more calm and easier to manage, the former director of nursing began demanding nursing home staff to administer large doses of psychotropic drugs to them. The attorney general’s complaint also alleges that three nursing home residents may have past away as a result of the medical complications from the forced psychotropic drugs. The director allegedly targeted patients that argued or were otherwise disruptive and difficult to care for. The family of a 91 year old resident who died has retained a nursing home abuse lawyer and has filed a lawsuit against the Kern home. The family did not find out about the abuse until a year later when a member of the family received a tip from a nurse at the home that they should look into abuse of their loved one. According to a National Center for Elder Abuse 2005 fact sheet, it is estimated that between one and two million people above the age of 65 have been abused by someone who provides care for them. It is also estimated that between two and ten percent of the elderly population have been abused, while at the same time only one in fourteen cases of abuse are reported to […]
Illinois Nursing Home Gets Bad ReviewFebruary 27, 2009 |
In Central Illinois, the Care Center of Abingdon nursing home has received the lowest possible score by the Center for Medicaid Services in a new five star rating system, according to Galesburg.com. The home only received one star out of five. As an Illinois nursing home lawyer, I believe that a low rating like this is an indication to look out for neglect and abuse. The rating program evaluates almost 16,000 facilities across the country. The new system rates nursing homes in three areas; health inspections, quality measures, and staffing levels. In the health inspections category, the Abingdon nursing home was awarded 3 out of 5 stars. However, the home received only one star in the quality measures and staffing levels areas. This resulted in an overall rating of just one star. The report found several problems with the Illinois nursing home. First, the home allegedly either failed to hire workers with no history of abusing patients or failed to investigate reported nursing home abuse. The report states the nursing home also failed to properly administer medication to residents, failed to adequately hydrate residents with fluids, and failed to properly prevent and/or treat bed sores. Licensed nurses in Illinois on average spend one hour and twelve minutes with each nursing home resident. The nationwide average is one hour and eighteen minutes. At the Care Center of Abington, the average nurse time with patients was only 47 minutes during a 2 week period just before the state inspection. The CEO of the nursing home states that they have addressed the issues raised in the report. Abington is run by a non-for-profit corporation and they have 82 certified beds. While the problems at the home have reportedly been corrected, it would be wise for family members of residents at the home to […]
Illinois Nursing Home Resident Freezes To Death — Chicago Nursing Home LawyerFebruary 11, 2009 |
An 89 year old woman has died at an Itasca nursing home after she walked into the courtyard and froze, according to CBS News in Chicago. The family is outraged and demanding answers from the facility where it happened. The victim’s daughters say she suffered from dementia and that she had a fear of being alone and in the cold. It is also being reported that the Itasca Police Department is trying to figure out how the victim who was wearing an ankle monitor and who uses a walker was able to walk through 2 doors with alarms and go into a courtyard in the middle of the night unnoticed. The Illinois Department of Public Health website indicates at least 14 complaints were filed against the nursing home last year. The family of the victim has hired a Chicago Area Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer to pursue a civil claim against the nursing home. If you have a loved one that you believe has been abused or neglected by a nursing home in Illinois, contact Abels & Annes for a no cost consultation.
Choosing a Nursing Home in IllinoisFebruary 10, 2009 |
Deciding to place a loved one in a nursing home can be very difficult, emotionally. But once you’ve made that hard decision, a different sort of difficult choice awaits you: Which facility is right for your family? As a Chicago nursing home neglect lawyer, I know your choice affects your loved one’s everyday life, so it’s very important. If you have never had to think about this before, the sheer amount of information out there can be overwhelming. Luckily, the Illinois and federal governments both offer a wealth of information to families struggling with this decision. If you need help right away, you can get in touch with local agencies whose job it is to help families through this stressful time. If your family is already involved with a social services agency like the county Public Aid office, it can usually point you in the right direction; social workers on staff at hospitals can also help. If those aren’t options, you can contact your local Agency on Aging in Illinois, which will give you a list of homes in your area, as well as the name of the local Long-Term Care Ombudsman, a person whose job it is to ensure that you know your rights, as well as investigate any of your complaints. This person can’t recommend a particular facility, but he or she can answer questions and guide you in your search. The Illinois Department of Public Health and the
A Tulsa man has been arrested on charges of sexually abusing a resident of the nursing home where he works, the Tulsa World reported Jan. 12. The man, a restorative aide at the home, was arrested after a co-worker reported that he allegedly touched a resident’s genitals while giving him a bath. The alleged victim is blind and physically handicapped. The accused man was released on bail Saturday. Any nursing home abuse is outrageous, but sexual abuse is especially shocking. Families choose nursing homes or other managed care situations because they want to do what’s best for loved ones who can no longer live independently. Putting someone you love in a nursing home is an act of trust in the home’s staff — trust that’s betrayed when staffers take advantage of a sick or disabled person’s helplessness. In addition to the physical harm it may cause for victims, sexual abuse can also cause profound emotional harm, because it is an extreme violation of the victim’s dignity. The article doesn’t specify what the criminal penalties would be if this man is convicted of sexual abuse. But for some families, criminal penalties against an individual employee are not enough, especially if the nursing home itself tolerated or failed to stop the abuse. Fortunately, Illinois law allows families to file a Chicago nursing home abuse lawsuit, regardless of whether there is any accompanying criminal case. A nursing home abuse claim can hold individuals and companies responsible for perpetrating or allowing nursing home abuse; refund costs caused by the abuse, including the cost of new care; and compensate the victim for the physical pain and emotional suffering caused by abuse. Ables & Annes handles cases of nursing home abuse and neglect in Illinois. Based in Chicago, we represent nursing home residents and families throughout […]
A resident of a Canton, Ill. nursing home was recently found living in a grain storage bin, more than a month after she went missing. The 44-year-old woman, who has been diagnosed with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and cancer, was last seen at her nursing home Sept. 16. She was found in early December after she came to a home near the grain bin, seeking shelter from the cold. Authorities told the Peoria Journal Star that the woman was sleeping on plastic and carpeting and eating crabapples to survive. After she was discovered, she was treated for dehydration. From the facts presented in the article, it seems to me that this woman and her family may have an Illinois nursing home neglect lawsuit, depending on the extent of her injuries. The article mentions that the woman had run off once before and been found three weeks later, living in the woods, so she has at least some history of escape attempts. As a Chicago nursing home abuse attorney, I know this is not uncommon for patients with a mental illness. We do not know the circumstances, of course, but in general, allowing patients with these tendencies to wander into dangerous situations is a form of nursing home neglect. Many people put their loved ones in a home in the first place to avoid just this kind of incident. Even the most dedicated relative can’t provide 24-hour supervision for an irrational, unpredictable patient. The additional resources provided by a nursing home or assisted care facility are supposed to reduce these sorts of serious risks. When they fail, patients and their families don’t have to just put up with it. Our Chicago nursing home abuse and neglect lawyers handle cases where a patient is injured due to a nursing home’s negligence. To learn […]
A woman has sued her nursing home in East St. Louis, the Madison County Record reported in December. The lawsuit alleges that the woman, who entered the home in 2000, developed pressure sores on her body because of neglect at the home. She also alleges that staff failed to treat the sores or give her medication. She is suing the parent company for the home for negligence as well as violations of the Illinois Nursing Home Care Act, which gives many legal rights to residents of nursing homes. Pressure sores (also called bedsores or by their medical name, decubitus ulcers) may not sound too terrible, but they can actually be life-threatening. They often develop in patients who are bed-bound or wheelchair-bound, due to a combination of pressure, friction, humidity and sometimes medication. Malnutrition and underlying conditions like anemia can then make an existing bedsore worse. Pressure sores may look simply like a discoloration of the skin in the early stages (pinkness in light-skinned people; blue or purple patches in dark-skinned people), but as time goes on, they eventually come to resemble cuts or puncture wounds. Eventually, the body tissues under pressure are damaged and die, just like tissues with gangrene, and are likely to become infected. Healthy people don’t generally develop pressure sores because they have the power to simply change position when they start feeling uncomfortable. That’s not the case for physically or mentally disabled people who need help to move. To prevent the sores, experts recommend that aides turn patients every two hours and help them maintain good hygiene and general health. This is especially important in nursing homes. According to an eMedicine article, 17% to 28% of patients in nursing homes have pressure sores, and two-thirds of the sores occur in patients over 70. Worse, even a […]
During the new year, many families will be visiting their loved ones in a nursing home or another assisted care facility. That makes it a good time of year to revisit the signs of abuse and neglect that families can watch for during their visits. This can be difficult, especially when the patient has trouble communicating or has a diagnosis of a mental illness. Unfortunately, some of these symptoms are very similar to symptoms of dementia; indeed, signs of abuse may be passed off by staffers as the onset of dementia. You may need to take further steps to know whether your loved one is truly being abused. The following tips are compiled from sources including the Mayo Clinic and the Rotary Club: Signs from the patient: • Unexplained weight loss and dehydration • Unexplained injuries, especially injuries that aren’t related to any existing medical condition • Bed sores • Denying obvious injuries or giving unlikely explanations for them • Dementia-like or childlike behaviors, like rocking back and forth • Confusion from a mentally competent person • Torn or bloody clothes • Dirty clothes and bedding • An increase in symptoms once controlled by medication • More medication left in the prescription than there should be, or new medications you don’t remember a doctor ordering • Seeming fear at the idea of ending the visit • Depression and withdrawn behavior • Missing jewelry or other objects of value • Sudden changes in financial situation Signs from the nursing home’s staff: • Reluctance to allow visitors • Reluctance to leave visitors alone with the patient • Speaking for a competent patient • Explanations that don’t fit with what you know about the patient • Seeming tension between staff and patients • Overworked or under-trained staff • Controlling or overly affectionate behavior […]