The hallmark of our prosecution of these cases is remembering that “all life is precious” – that persons in nursing homes can be and have been the objects of neglect and abuse and these horrendous situations must be stopped.
Types of neglect:
- Bed sores;
- Improper medication;
- Failure to restrain;
- Unexplained injuries;
- Unsanitary conditions;
- Failure to care on a required frequent basis;
- Emotional injuries.
Illinois has what is known as the Illinois Nursing Home Care Act which provides specific rights to residents and laws that nursing homes and licensees have to follow. It provides specific remedies that residents and family members can obtain including compensatory damages and punitive damages. The majority of nursing homes are required to not only abide by the Nursing Home Care Act, but Illinois Administrative Law remedies, as well as Federal Administrative Laws.
Other states have similar statutes and also are governed by Federal Administrative Laws.
Steps to Take:
If a family member is thought to be the subject of neglect at a nursing home, the following steps can be followed:
- Immediately contact the nursing home administrator and director of nursing with these complaints;
- Call the Illinois Department of Public Health Hotline and ask for an immediate investigation;
- Seek legal assistance immediately.
Williamson, Webster, Falb & Glisson is capable of pursuing these cases. The sooner an attorney is brought in, the more effective the prosecution can be. This law firm will pursue a case aggressively helping you with the complaint with the Illinois Department of Public Health (or in Missouri a similar state agency), having photographs taken of the resident and the resident’s surroundings, obtaining the medical chart and foremost making sure that proper care and attention is immediately given to the resident.
If needed, this firm can assist with a referral to a local prosecuting attorney for possible criminal prosecution if there was the type of intentional act arising to a violation of the criminal code.
Constant vigilance by friends and family of the resident and becoming the resident’s advocate at all times is key.
Nursing homes are in a “business”. They make money from taking care of residents. The more residents they have, the more gross revenue they receive. The less staff they have, the more profit they can make. No matter what the representatives of the nursing home say to get a resident into the home, they cannot always be trusted – employees are often overworked, without the proper education or training while the owner of the nursing home is often times located in big cities simply looking at the bottom line as far as “net profit”.
If you are suspicious of the care for a resident — complain immediately to the nursing home, call the IDPH hotline and seek legal assistance. You can reach our firm, Williamson, Webster, Falb & Glisson, at 618-462-1077.