A camera hidden by a resident’s family realized their fears: neglect and physical and verbal abuse in a Kentucky nursing home. According to the Associated Press and the Lexington Herald-Leader, a family hid a video camera in the victim’s room at Madison Manor in Richmond, KY, after they became suspicious about the woman’s treatment. Unfortunately, the images they captured confirmed their fears: Staff members at the home handled the 84-year-old woman roughly, lifting her from the bed by her wrists and neck; ate her food; left her lying on the floor; and verbally taunted her, once even shaking a fist at her.
The victim was pulled out to live in a relative’s home and eventually died a natural death, but investigations revealed “injuries of unknown origin” to 17 other residents of the home. The home and its parent company are now under investigation by the state Attorney General. It’s worth noting that the adult granddaughter of the victim in this case is a social worker with the state child protective services agency. Thanks to her professional training, this woman knew the signs of abuse and what complaints to report to the state regulatory agency in charge. As the Lexington paper’s editorial said, not every resident of a nursing home is lucky enough to have a relative with those skills — or even one who visits enough to notice any problems. It’s sobering to think of how many homes may be hiding this type of abuse, without any concerned relatives to find out the truth.
In Illinois nursing home abuse and neglect cases, time truly is of the essence. In my practice as a Chicago nursing home abuse lawyer, I have seen several cases where abuse or neglect was spotted too late, after it had already hurt the health of the victim substantially. In some cases, this can cause a decline in health that leads to death. That’s an unbelievably sad — and highly avoidable — end for people whose families were only trying to give them the high-quality care that the family itself couldn’t provide.
In Illinois, the Nursing Home Care Act holds owners and licensees of nursing homes legally liable for abuse and neglect under their watch. Families with a loved one who suffered nursing home neglect or abuse may sue over all of the costs of the abuse, including medical costs, the cost of alternative care (or missed work), compensation for their loved one’s suffering, any wrongful death and even attorneys’ fees. If you’re thinking of pursuing this type of lawsuit, the Chicago nursing home neglect attorneys at Abels & Annes can help. Please contact us for a free consultation.