In late October, a Chicago nursing assistant was arrested after he was accused of slapping and choking a 92-year-old long-term care facility resident. Following the incident, the 51-year-old West Side man was charged with aggravated battery to a senior citizen and is currently being held in the Cook County Jail on a $100,000 bond.
The nursing assistant was taken into custody after local police responded to a call from the Park House, Ltd. nursing home located in the Little Village neighborhood. A co-worker reportedly witnessed the man slap the wheelchair-bound senior resident twice in the face. The nursing assistant then allegedly grabbed the resident, who suffers from dementia, by his neck and pulled him up after the elderly man cowered away from him. The co-worker reportedly yelled at the alleged abuser and insisted that he immediately leave the resident’s room. Following the incident, the co-worker purportedly notified supervisors who then summoned law enforcement officers to the facility. A Sergeant from the Area Central Violence Crimes Division also investigated the alleged abuse incident.
The Illinois Elder Abuse and Neglect Act was passed in 1988 and was designed to respond to any instance of abuse of a senior citizen who resides in the state. The Illinois Department of Public Health is responsible for investigating and responding to reports of elder neglect or abuse in a long-term care setting. Since 1999, medical, law enforcement, and social service professionals are required to report all instances of suspected abuse or neglect of a senior citizen who is unable to self report. Additionally, such personnel may also choose to provide a voluntary report regarding any suspected elder mistreatment.
In 2010, the Illinois Governor signed into law nursing home safety measures designed to protect the residents of long-term care facilities from abuse. In addition to increased nurse staffing requirements, the law requires nursing homes to perform thorough background checks on new residents and mandated the hiring of additional state nursing home inspectors.
As this unfortunate case demonstrates, abuse still occurs despite a number of laws designed to protect nursing home residents. Nursing home abuse may include physical violence, withholding of food or medication, or simple neglect. Too often, long-term care facility abuse results from a lack of competent, well-trained staff. If you suspect a nursing home resident is being abused, you should speak with a quality nursing home abuse and neglect attorney about your concerns.
If you are concerned about the level of care a nursing home or other long-term care facility resident is receiving, call Abels & Annes, P.C. at (312) 475-9596. Our skilled Illinois nursing home abuse and neglect lawyers are available 24 hours a day, seven days per week to help you protect the rights of your elderly friends and loved ones. To schedule a free consultation with a quality Illinois attorney, please contact us through the law firm’s website.
Research Study Finds Seniors With Bedsores at Increased Risk of Death in Illinois, Nationwide, Illinois Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Blog, November 5, 2012
A Prescription for Abuse in Chicago Nursing Homes: Too Many Medicated Residents, Illinois Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Blog, October 9, 2012
Nursing assistant charged with battery to a senior, by Rosemary R. Sobol, Chicago Tribune
Photo credit: lckidwell, Stock.xchng