Illinois has enacted legislation to protect nursing home residents because of past instances of nursing home abuse. For example, like many nursing home residents, Fred was admitted to a nursing home when his health declined to the point that his daughter was no longer able to continue caring for him at home. At the time of his admission the 84 year-old male was confined to his bed, needed a feeding tube, and had a Stage II pressure sore on his left hip.
Making the decision to entrust an elderly relative to receiving care at a nursing home is a hard one. Laws like the Illinois Nursing Home Care Act seek to alleviate some of the anxiety of the nursing home decision by addressing concerns of inadequate, improper and degrading treatment of patients in nursing homes. The Act provides residents with a wide range of rights, including the retention of a person’s own personal physician at their own expense. Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley, then a State Senator for the 23rd District, was one of the chief sponsors of the Act when it was passed in 1979.
In addition to Illinois law, there is also the federal statute called the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1987 (OBRA). This statute sets up requirements for long-term care facilities throughout the country. What’s most important about the two statutes is that they demonstrate that the elderly need advocates.
Because even with these legal safeguards in place, residents still suffer nursing home neglect and abuse in Illinois. Unfortunately, Fred’s story is very typical and affects Illinois nursing home residents. During his first month at the nursing home, Fred’s pressure sore worsened and became infected from his feces. He was transferred to a local hospital after his bed sores infection spread to his hip bone and new ulcers had developed on his other hip and sacrum. At the same time he also required treatment for malnutrition, dehydration, and a significant weight loss. After only six days in the hospital, Fred passed away.
Fred was survived by his adult daughter, who then sued the nursing home’s owner and operator for negligent care. She alleged that the nursing home had failed to adequately treat and prevent additional bed sores from developing and also failure to properly clean and manage those bed sores.
Kreisman Law Offices has been fighting Illinois nursing home abuse for over 30 years in Chicago, Cook County and surrounding areas, including Barrington, Glencoe, Palos Heights and Schaumburg.
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