It is an agonizing decision that many residents in Illinois must face as some point in their lives: whether or not to place a loved one in a nursing home. Many are concerned about the care and attention that will be received if someone they care about is placed in a home but for thousands of elderly and incapacitated Illinois residents every year, moving to a nursing home becomes the best decision. While there, residents should receive the care they both need and deserve due to the nature and extent of their injuries. In some cases, this happens, but in others, nursing home residents become the victims of abuse or neglect while in the home and under the care of the employees and owners in charge of a facility.
When abuse or neglect takes place, a nursing home patient may be injured in the incident. The injuries may be an exacerbation of a preexisting condition or it may be new and caused by the neglect. Conditions including bed sores, infections, broken bones, medication errors, and others may be a sign of abuse of a loved one. Speaking with a personal injury lawyer who represents nursing home victims may help you understand if you or your family has a valid claim following abuse in a facility in Illinois.
While relief may be possible after an incident of abuse or neglect occurs, it is far better to prevent these incidents from ever taking place and from the residents of nursing homes to ever suffer injuries. In an effort to make this happen, legislation has been proposed in Illinois that would allow nursing home patients to use video cameras as a type of surveillance system. The cameras would have to be paid for and maintained by the resident and/or the resident’s family and would only be allowed in rooms where a resident consents to the camera’s presence. If a resident has a roommate, that roommate would also be required to consent before a camera could be used.
Five other states currently allow this type of remote viewing of nursing home conditions with the belief that employees and others in the home will be held accountable for any abusive actions they take. Further, some people believe that capturing unacceptable conduct on cameras will lead to greater punishments for those who are guilty of abusing elderly residents and will lead to greater transparency when it comes to the care provided by these facilities.
Yet some are concerned that the cameras will require too much sacrifice when compared to any potential good they may provide. The cameras would be intended to function 24 hours a day, meaning that every minute of a resident’s life could be on camera. This could lead to concerns about privacy of the resident, resident’s guests, and others that may come into and out of the room. Certain privacy concerns are covered by both state and federal law which means that the potential legal complications could be extensive.
As officials continue to debate this proposed law, the family members of current nursing home residents can just stand by and wait to see what direction this legislation takes. In the interim, Illinois nursing home patients continue to suffer from abuse and neglect at the hands of those who are supposed to care for them, and many incidents of abuse result in serious injuries every year.
In many cases, it can be difficult to understand whether a loved one has suffered in a home and, if so, whether legal relief is possible. The lawyers at Abels & Annes, P.C. are standing by 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year to take your call and provide you with a free consultation so that you can understand the laws as they may apply to your loved ones. We can be reached toll free at (855) 529-2442 or locally at (312) 924-7575.
If you suspect your loved one or family member may have been subjected to abuse or neglect while in a Chicago or Illinois nursing home, call Abels & Annes, P.C. today and let us help your family pursue the relief you deserve.
Should video cameras be used in nursing homes?, by Wes Venteicher, Chicago Tribune, published September 8, 2014.