If you placed your loved one in a nursing home, it is reasonable to expect they will have their needs provided for and their legal and ethical rights upheld. However, the very nursing homes that family members rely on to take care of their elderly relatives sometimes fall below the general standard of care for nursing homes in Illinois.
Unfortunately, many nursing home residents suffer physically, emotionally, and even financially from sub-standard care. Fortunately, this is where a skilled injury attorney could step in to help. If you believe your loved one is not receiving the care they deserve in a nursing home, consulting with a compassionate Cook County nursing home abuse lawyer may be beneficial to you both.
Rights of Nursing Home Residence in Cook County
Just because a loved one is in a nursing home or an assisted living facility does not mean they give up their rights. In fact, in Cook County they have many rights specifically guaranteed by the Illinois Nursing Home Care Act (210 ILCS 45).
This act establishes resident rights and the responsibilities of nursing home facilities to protect their residence from abuse and neglect. Under this Act, nursing home residents have the right to:
- Be free from abuse and neglect
- Manage their own financial affairs
- Wear their own clothes and keep their personal belongings in their rooms
- Be cared for by their own doctor under their own health insurance or at their own expense, as well as to refuse treatment if they wish
- Access and look over all medical records related to their care
- Religious freedom
- Be free from restraints, unless ordered by a physician for their own protection
- Have visitors, send and receive pieces of mail, and make and receive phone calls
The Illinois Department of Public Health oversees and enforces the Nursing Home Care Act throughout the state. All facilities that fall under the definition of a long-term care facility are required to comply with the Act, and a Cook County nursing home abuse lawyer could help family members or residents themselves file suit if a facility fails to do so.
Potential Signs of Abuse
Family members who suspect or witness abuse or neglect in a nursing home should contact a nursing home abuse lawyer in Cook County as soon as possible to determine how best to take action. Some seniors may not talk about what is going on or even hide signs of maltreatment for fear of getting into trouble or out of shame, so it is wise for family members to be on the lookout for signs of abuse and neglect in the nursing home.
These signs may include but are not limited to:
- Lack of interest in hobbies, games, reading and other activities that used to bring enjoyment
- Staff refusing to leave the loved one alone with family members or other visitors
- Sudden and rapid weight loss
- Withdrawing emotionally
- Unexplained agitation
- Developing unexplained bed stores
- Bruises, abrasions, and other signs of rough physical treatment
Speaking with a Cook County Nursing Home Abuse Attorney
Nursing home residents who are experiencing any kind of abuse or neglect may feel very isolated and afraid, on top of experiencing significant physical pain. To make up for this maltreatment, you or your loved one may be entitled to receive damages for injuries and losses resulting from nursing home abuse and neglect.
A skilled Cook County nursing home abuse lawyer could help you learn more about your legal options and the necessary action you must take when this situation occurs. Call today to set up an initial consultation.