Nursing Homes in Illinois and Throughout the Nation Are Often Not Equipped to Handle Brain-Injury Patients

A 57-year-old resident of the Cobden Rehabilitation and Nursing Center in Illinois is allegedly no longer allowed to walk and can barely speak. When the brain-injury victim entered the facility, however, he could reportedly walk with assistance and was undergoing speech therapy. According to reports, the man now spends his days slumped in a wheelchair. In addition, his speech therapy sessions allegedly ended not long after he became a resident of the facility. Sadly, the nursing home appears to be ill-equipped to properly care for the man.

According to federal Medicaid and Medicare patient data compiled by Bloomberg, the 57-year-old man is one of an estimated 244,000 individuals who are residing in nursing homes across the nation as a result of an unexpected brain-injury. More than four million people nationwide reportedly suffer from a long-term disability that was caused by a brain-injury. Although an injury to the brain may result from a motor vehicle crash, fall, stroke, assault, and a number of other events, victims are frequently left without access to the most effective specialized care and therapies. Many brain-injury victims are reportedly housed in nursing homes that were designed instead to care for an aging population.

Unfortunately, the bulk of Americans do not have health insurance that will pay for brain trauma rehabilitation facilities. Instead, those who suffer a severe and disabling injury to the brain often rely on public insurance that is paid for by the state and federal government. Although Medicaid will cover the cost of a nursing home, the program will only pay for a limited number of patients to enter rehabilitation centers. Unfortunately, a long waiting list currently exists for the 19,000 nationwide slots.

Although nursing homes can be the best option for some brain-injury patients, most reportedly need therapies that skilled nursing facilities rarely provide. Scott Schuster, President of Wingate Healthcare, oversees 18 nursing homes in two states. He said less than one in 10 skilled nursing facilities can properly care for brain-injury patients. To make matters worse, many nursing homes do not want to take on the care of patients who suffered a brain-injury. In fact, Wingate Healthcare recently closed a 125-bed Massachusetts facility that specialized in treating individuals who suffered a brain-injury due to the low rate of Medicaid compensation.

Abuse and neglect can result when patients enter nursing facilities that are not equipped to properly care for them. The Illinois Nursing Home Care Act was established to protect the rights of senior citizens and other individuals who live in long-term care facilities throughout the state. Those rights include the right to be free from abuse or neglect, the right to various levels of self-determination, and the right to privacy. Under the Act, residents of skilled nursing facilities located in Illinois are supposed to enjoy freedom from unauthorized restraint, the ability to entertain visitors, the opportunity to choose their own healthcare providers, and other rights. Additionally, nursing homes have a duty to ensure the rights enumerated in the Act are not violated. If you feel your friend or loved one was abused or neglected by a nursing home agent or employee, you should contact a quality nursing home abuse and neglect attorney to discuss your concerns.

If your brain-injured family member was neglected or abused in an Illinois nursing home, please contact the capable lawyers at Abels & Annes, P.C. Our knowledgeable Chicago Metro nursing home abuse and neglect attorneys are available 24 hours per day, seven days per week to help you protect the rights of your elderly and disabled loved ones. For a free consultation with a competent Illinois lawyer, give Abels & Annes, P.C. a call at (312) 475-9596 or contact us through our website.

More Blogs:

Newly Privatized Libertyville Nursing Home Receives 14 Citations from State Inspectors, Illinois Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Blog, December 17, 2012
Former Caseyville Nurse Sentenced For Stealing Drugs From Nursing Home Residents, Illinois Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Blog, November 30, 2012
Additional Resources:

Brain-Injured in Nursing Homes Without Care Giffords Had, by David Armstrong, Bloomberg Businessweek


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