Alton Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers
Protecting seniors and residents from nursing home negligence in Illinois
Nursing home abuse and neglect is a serious issue that affects an untold number of senior citizen and long-term care facilities annually. The reason it’s impossible to know the total of people affected by nursing home negligence is because many victims of nursing home abuse are unable to speak out or seek help due to their physical or cognitive limitations.
Nursing home abuse can take many forms, including physical, emotional, and financial, as well as neglect. No matter what form the abuse takes, the harm it inflicts on the victim cannot be understated. The Alton nursing home abuse attorneys at Glisson Law take these cases extremely seriously, and we work to ensure justice is served. We hold all the liable parties accountable for their negligence, demanding compensation for your loved one’s injuries and pain and suffering. Schedule a consultation today to find out how we can help you and your family.
What is nursing home abuse?
Nursing home abuse involves any type of mistreatment, harm, or neglect of a resident in a long-term care facility, like nursing homes or assisted living. Abuse can be physical, sexual, emotional, financial, and can also include neglect.
A 2020 study from BMC Health Services Research shows that nursing home abuse and neglect is a serious problem when it comes to care managers. In a focus group with 28 nursing home leaders, researchers concluded [emphasis ours]:
…care managers lack awareness of elder abuse and neglect, and that elder abuse is an overlooked patient safety issue. The consequence is that nursing home residents are at risk of being harmed and distressed. Care managers lack knowledge and strategies to identify and adequately manage abuse and neglect in nursing homes.
The federal government and all states, including Illinois, have laws in place to protect residents against neglect and abuse. However, residents continue suffering injury and harm when nursing homes and their staff ignore these mandates and requirements. It’s important to be aware of the signs of abuse and to take action if you suspect that a loved one is being mistreated in a nursing home. Our Alton attorneys can help.
What are the signs of nursing home abuse?
The National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA) discusses the four types of nursing home abuse, along with the most common signs and symptoms. If you notice any of these happening in your family member or loved one, it’s important you take action immediately.
This is the use of force to cause physical pain, including striking, punching, hitting, slapping, shaking, or kicking. Physical abuse can also include failure to provide food and medication, overmedication, improper use of restraints, and physical punishment. Signs of physical abuse can be obvious or subtle:
- Patient claims physical abuse
- Broken and fractured bones
- Black eyes, bruises, or restraint marks
- Unexplained sprains or internal injuries
- Open wounds or untreated injuries
- Irregular medication doses
- Sudden changes in behavior and mood
- Broken eyeglasses or other personal item
- Nursing staff refuses to allow personal visits
Sexual abuse is non-consensual sexual contact – when done to anyone. Sexual abuse, when perpetrated on a senior, is even more insidious as many nursing home residents are unable to give consent due to physical and/or cognitive impairments. Sexual abuse includes things like rape, battery, forced nudity, explicit photos, and more. Signs and symptoms of sexual abuse or assault include:
- Reports of abuse from the resident
- Bruises or lacerations around the genitals
- Unexplained vaginal or anal bleeding
Emotional and psychological abuse happens when someone inflicts mental pain on another through verbal or nonverbal actions. Emotional abuse can include intimidation, verbal assault, isolating the patient from friends and family, or threatening them with punishments. This type of abuse can cause a resident to alter their behavior, including:
- Withdrawing or disengaging
- Thumb-sucking or rocking
Another form of abuse is financial, which is when a nursing home or staff member attempts to take monetary advantage of a resident. These actions can include gaining unauthorized power of attorney, stealing money or property, forging a resident’s name, or cashing checks. Stay alert for these red flags:
- Report of financial abuse from the resident
- Large or unusual bank or ATM withdrawals
- Adding a staff member’s name to accounts
- Unpaid bills
- Missing possessions
- Sudden interest in the resident’s finances from someone who was never interested before
The bottom line? If you or your loved one see a red flag, it’s worth investigating. Our Alton nursing home abuse attorneys can help.
What should I do if I suspect nursing home abuse?
If you believe your loved one is experiencing abuse or neglect at an Alton area nursing home, you can take the following steps:
- Contact the nursing home administrator and director of nursing immediately outlining your complaints. Document everything, including the names of everyone you speak to and when you contact them (or attempt to contact them).
- Contact the Illinois Department of Public Health and ask for an immediate investigation;
- Seek legal assistance immediately from an experienced personal injury attorney.
The sooner an attorney is brought in, the stronger your case. Glisson Law will aggressively pursue your case, helping you with your complaint to the Illinois Department of Public Health. We can launch an investigation, including taking photographs taken of the resident’s injuries and their surroundings, obtaining their medical chart and – most importantly – making sure that proper care and attention is immediately provided to your loved one.
If necessary, we can also assist with a referral to a local prosecuting attorney for possible criminal prosecution if the abuse was an intentional act arising to a violation of criminal code.
What is the Illinois Nursing Home Care Act?
The Illinois Nursing Home Care Act provides specific rights to residents as well as laws that nursing homes and licensees have to follow. It provides specific remedies to which residents and family members are entitled, 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 law, as well as federal laws.
Do you have a nursing home abuse lawyer near me?
Glisson Law is located at 111 East Fourth Street, Suite 400, in Alton, IL. We’re a block away from City Hall, and you can find plenty of parking across the street. There’s also a bus stop right outside our office. Glisson Law conducts phone and video conferences when applicable, and makes home and hospital visits if you cannot travel to us.
Experienced Alton nursing home abuse lawyers protecting your loved ones
Make no mistake – nursing homes are 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. And when they cut corners, residents suffer. If your loved one experienced harm due to nursing home abuse or neglect, call the Alton attorneys at Glisson Law today. We will advocate on their behalf and fight for compensation for their injuries. Call our offices or fill out our contact form to schedule a free consultation today. We serve families in Belleville, Edwardsville, St. Clair and Madison County, and all of Southwestern Illinois.