What does nursing home abuse look like? It might sound like a simple question to ask, but the answer is anything but easy. Nursing home abuse can take many different forms and can present itself in unique ways, making it challenging for the loved ones of patients to recognize any malfeasance. In some instances, abuse may be physical and may leave bruising or broken bones. In other instances, nursing home patients may suffer from malnutrition because of a lack of appropriate care.
Delayed treatment or the failure to address problems in nursing home patients can be another sign of abuse or neglect in these facilities. In Illinois, the Nursing Home Care Act requires that all facilities providing nursing home services give the proper treatment to those in their care. If an injury takes place, an infection sets in, or a medical condition worsens, the Nursing Home Care Act may require employees and owners of a nursing home to address those issues and to ensure that a resident is being provided for. Failing to do so may lead to legal liability and may cause greater harm to the patient.
Treatment after a fall at a nursing home is often delayed in an attempt to hide or cover up the fall itself. Usually, patients who are at risk for falling require greater care and may need multiple staff members to assist them as they move about the home or move from a bed to a chair. Transfers from one position to another are a common setting where falls take place and often indicate that something went wrong during the staff’s assistance of a patient. If a staff is worried about being blamed for a fall, they may delay any needed treatment for the patient, allowing that patient to suffer from unnecessary pain and potentially leading to a worsening of injuries.
The arrival of new medical symptoms may require immediate treatment as well. Typically, indications of a stroke, heart attack, pulmonary embolism, or deep vein thrombosis may require fast and immediate action. Failing to take such action and to send a patient to a hospital may result in decreased cognitive ability, paralysis, or even death.
In some instances, nursing home patients may report new symptoms that go ignored or unheeded by staff of the home. When that happens, critical mistakes may result and the new medical issues may not be properly diagnosed.
If you believe that your loved one experienced delayed treatment while in an Illinois nursing home or other long term care facility, your loved one may be entitled to legal relief including compensation for her damages. The personal injury lawyers at Abels & Annes, P.C. are standing by 24 hours a day, seven days a week to take your call toll free and to help you understand your options by offering you a case consultation. There is no cost to you and no obligation on your part for taking advantage of our consultation and everything discussed will be kept confidential.
If you have concerns about nursing home abuse or neglect, call us today toll free at (855) 529-2442 or locally at (312) 924-7575.
Prior Blog Entry:
Broken Bones Can Be a Sign of Nursing Home Abuse, Illinois Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Blog, published January 8, 2016.