Before placing a loved one in a nursing home, it’s likely you’ll conduct extensive research. You may look for facilities online, consult your loved one’s doctor, visit homes, and ask opinions from residents and their family members. Once you’ve chosen a facility and your loved one has moved in, you expect the staff to take proper care of your loved one to ensure they live the highest quality of life possible. If that doesn’t happen and your loved one is harmed, a Joliet nursing home abuse lawyer can help.
At Schweickert Ganassin Krzak Rundio, LLP, we understand how challenging it can be to place a family member in a long-term care facility. It is often an emotional decision, and you have to put your trust in the nursing home when it comes to ensuring the health and well-being of your loved one. When that trust is broken and your loved one is harmed, you may be uncertain where to turn. For those in Illinois, we’re prepared to explain your legal rights and options to you, so you can help your loved one recover and hold the negligent facility accountable for their actions.
Nursing Homes in Joliet
According to the Medicare Nursing Home Compare tool, there are currently nine nursing homes within Joliet city limits. Those facilities include the following:
- Sunny Hill Nursing Home of Will County
- Spring Creek
- Salem Village Nursing & Rehab
- Symphony of Joliet
- Our Lady of Angels Ret Home
- Parc Joliet
- Joliet Terrace
- Presence Villa Franciscan
- Lakeshore Rehab & Healthcare
Of those nine nursing homes, two have been cited for instances of abuse or neglect. Parc Joliet, which has an overall rating of one out of five stars, has received 35 health safety complaints in the past three years that resulted in a citation. The most recent health inspection resulted in 16 citations. Salem Village Nursing & Rehab also has a one star rating. Over the past three years, they have received 34 health safety citations—19 of which were cited after the most recent health inspection.
While it’s more likely that abuse and neglect will take place at a facility with poor Medicare ratings, it’s important to understand that abuse can happen in any facility, at any time. Even a highly-rated and well-reviewed facility can act negligently and cause harm to their residents.
If your loved one has been injured in one of the facilities mentioned above or in another facility around Joliet, an Illinois attorney can advise you of your rights and what you can do to ensure your loved recovers as fully as possible.
Detecting Abuse or Neglect in a Nursing Home
According to Nursing Home Abuse Justice, as many as 24.3% of residents experience at least one instance of physical abuse while living in a long-term care facility. Unfortunately, the majority of nursing home abuse incidents go unreported. This is often because residents are unwilling to discuss the issue for fear of retaliation or out of embarrassment. In some situations, the residents may be unable to communicate their suffering to loved ones because of health conditions.
Abuse refers to intentional actions that directly harm someone. Abuse can be physical, emotional, or sexual. Financial exploitation is also a form of nursing home abuse. Neglect, on the other hand, refers to situations where facilities fail to provide residents with the care they need—intentionally or otherwise.
There are numerous signs that point to an elderly person being abused. Knowing the warning signs can help you uncover what your loved one is going through and take the necessary steps to protect their health and well-being.
If you notice changes in your loved one’s behavior or personality or you sense frequent tension between them and the nursing home staff, it’s possible that abuse is taking place. With physical abuse, you may notice unexplained injuries like cuts or bruises or signs of physical restraint like marks on wrists and ankles. It’s possible the staff could try to refuse to let you be alone with your loved one.
Emotional abuse, which often involves belittlement, threats, or controlling behaviors, often displays itself through unusual behaviors like mumbling, rocking, and thumb sucking. If a resident is being sexually abused, there may be unexplained STDs or infections, bruising around private areas, and stained or torn clothing.
With financial exploitation, a nursing home staff member may directly steal from your loved one or coerce them into giving them money or valuables. It’s also possible they could forge signatures to change important documents. It’s important to keep an eye on your loved one’s bank statements to ensure there is no abnormal activity.
No matter the type of abuse your loved one has suffered, they deserve the chance to hold the nursing home accountable for their actions. Let’s take a look at how the claims process in Illinois generally works.
How to Hold Negligent Long-Term Care Facilities Accountable
The moment you suspect your loved one is being abused, report the matter to their nursing home and get in touch with the Illinois Department of Public Health. You can also contact the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Both agencies have jurisdictions that sometimes overlap. If your loved one is in immediate danger, call 911.
Once you’ve reported the abuse, you can focus on removing your loved one from the facility. Depending on the circumstances, they may need medical attention. Once you’ve ensured their safety, you should get in touch with a nursing home abuse attorney.
If you decide taking legal action is the right decision to protect your loved one, your lawyer will guide you through the process. You’ll need to gather documents that support the alleged abuse. This could include photos of physical neglect or injuries, copies of medical records, witness testimony, the facility’s findings, and any additional independent findings by other agencies or the police.
With the collected evidence, you and your lawyer can build a claim that proves your loved one was wronged. Not only will your loved one have access to the compensation they need to recover, but the facility will hopefully make changes so that no other residents are harmed in the future.
Speak With an Attorney From Schweickert Ganassin Krzak Rundio, LLP
If your loved one has been harmed in their long-term care home and you’re ready to take legal action on their behalf, contact a Joliet nursing home abuse lawyer. Our attorneys understand the challenges associated with personal injury claims, and we’re prepared to guide you through the process to ensure your loved one receives the compensation they need to recover.
In most instances, filing a claim will give you the chance at a monetary award for medical expenses, pain and suffering, and other abuse-related losses. While a settlement through negotiations is a possibility, we won’t hesitate to help you take your claim to trial and have the jury render a verdict.
Depending on the abuse your loved one has suffered and the nursing home’s willingness to cooperate, filing a claim could take time. That’s why it’s important to get in touch with a lawyer as soon as possible after you realize your loved one’s been harmed. To learn more about the filing process or to get started with your claim, schedule a free, no obligation case evaluation with us today.