Elder Abuse Trial Highlights Potential Dangers for Illinois Nursing Home Patients

230578_hospital_6%20sxchu%20username%20rweller.jpgAs loved ones age or become disabled, countless families in Illinois and across the country turn to nursing homes for assistance. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to constantly monitor the quality of care your family member receives in such an environment. Sadly, trusting a nursing home to properly care for your beloved family member may result in tragedy.

A trial date was recently set for a former head nurse at a skilled nursing facility in Placerville, California who stands accused of felony elder abuse. According to Deputy Attorney General Steven Muni, the 59-year-old registered nurse violated her duty of care to a 77-year-old facility resident. The patient allegedly died as a result of neglect at the El Dorado Care Center in 2008. The nurse is also accused of failure to properly perform her duties and failure to supervise her staff. A trial date was set after an El Dorado County judge rejected the nurse’s request to dismiss the charges.

Last year, a former licensed vocational nurse reportedly agreed to a plea deal in connection with the same patient’s death. Because criminal prosecutions over nursing home abuse or neglect in California are rare, the criminal case is allegedly being monitored closely by both nursing home industry members and senior citizen advocates.

As was tragically the case in this instance, the neglect or abuse of a nursing home resident can have irreversible and fatal consequences. Federal standards require skilled nursing and other long-term care facilities that receive federal Medicaid or Medicare funds to maintain each resident at substantially the same level of health he or she exhibited upon entering the facility. If a patient’s condition worsens, the nursing home is required to work towards restoring the resident to his or her original condition.

State law requires skilled nursing and other long-term care facilities in Illinois to maintain high enough staffing levels to safely monitor and maintain the health of patients in the institution’s care. When a skilled nursing facility or one of the institution’s employees fails to ensure at-risk patients are properly cared for, the nursing home and worker may be guilty of negligence. If you believe your friend or relative suffered neglect or abuse while residing in a skilled nursing facility located in Illinois, you should discuss your concerns with a quality lawyer.

If your loved one died unexpectedly while in the care of an Illinois nursing home, do not hesitate to call the caring attorneys at Abels & Annes, P.C. at (312) 924-7575 today. Our knowledgeable Chicago nursing home abuse and neglect lawyers are available 24 hours per day, every day of the week to help you protect the rights of your senior and disabled family members. For a free consultation with a capable advocate, please contact Abels & Annes, P.C. through the law firm’s website.

More Blogs:

Study Claims Seniors in Illinois and Nationwide Are More Likely to Contract Dangerous MRSA in Winter Months, Illinois Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Blog, April 22, 2013
U.S. Senate Considering Bill That May Keep Elderly Out of Nursing Homes in Illinois, Nationwide, Illinois Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Blog, April 15, 2013
Additional Resources:

Placerville nurse to stand trial in abuse case, by Marjie Lundstrom, Sacramento Bee

Photo credit: rweller, Stock.xchng