In 2008, 3.2 million Americans lived in nursing homes across all 50 states. That same year, 900,000 people lived in an assisted living facility. The majority of these residents, 2 out of 3, were female, and 6 out of 7 were aged 65 years or older. These numbers mean that a significant portion of America’s elderly population is confined to long term facilities, including nursing homes, and that those people rely upon others for their daily care.
The residents of these homes should not have to worry about whether they will get the medication they need, whether the employees of the home will care for them as they deserve, or whether they will be the victims of abuse. Unfortunately, these are concerns that many, if not most, nursing home patients face on a daily basis. A 2000 study by K. Broyles revealed that 44 percent of long term care facility residents reported being abused and that 95 percent of residents reported either being neglected or seeing another resident neglected.
Nursing home abuse and neglect is continuing daily in Illinois homes and likely will continue as the American population continues to age and place greater demand on long term care facilities. Too often, this abuse goes unreported or unnoticed by those other than the victim, meaning that abusers are free to continue their wrongdoing and victimizing others. Consulting with a personal injury lawyer in the Chicago area may help you understand the implications if you suspect abuse of a family member or a loved one or if have noticed harm.
In New York, a licensed practical nurse has been arrested and charged with a felony count of endangering the welfare of a nursing home resident whom the nurse was caring for at a local nursing home. According to officials, the employee came upon an 89-year-old resident on the floor, moaning in pain in January of 2013. The resident reportedly suffers from Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease and relies on the care provided by the employees at the home for all of her daily needs.
Upon finding the resident, the nurse allegedly did not check the woman’s vitals or call for help. Instead, she determined that the resident was uninjured and moved the resident to a wheelchair. Later tests revealed that the resident broke her hip in the incident and was in excruciating pain at the time the nurse moved her.
Protocol required the nurse to inform a superior of the resident’s fall and to allow a supervisor to determine whether or not the resident needed medical attention. The criminal charge against the nurse indicates that her actions delayed necessary medical treatment and violated the duty of care she had toward the resident.
In the event that criminal charges are brought in a nursing home abuse situation, the courts will work out punishment, if any, for that crime. But that may not be the end of the legal implications for a nursing home employee, owner, or others involved in the abuse.
The victims of these incidents may be able to obtain financial compensation through the use of a civil claim for damages which is separate and distinct from any criminal charges that may be filed. The right to seek this relief belongs to a victim and/or the victim’s family members and cannot be denied by a nursing home or a nursing home employee.
At Abels & Annes, P.C., we believe in fighting for the rights of those who have been harmed through the actions of others, including those who have suffered in a nursing home or long term care facility. We offer a free case consultation to those who contact us toll free at (855) 529-2442 or locally at (312) 924-7575 and we provide it 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
If you suspect that your loved one has been injured while residing in a nursing home, call Abels & Annes, P.C. today and let us help you seek the relief you deserve.
Prior Blog Entry:
Former Aide Pleads Guilty to Sexually Assaulting Nursing Home Resident, Illinois Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Blog, published September 29, 2014.
Nursing home fall results in charges, timesunion.com, published October 2, 2014.