Cases of Nursing Home Abuse Go Uninvestigated

The state of California recently reported that long-term facilities across that state were the subject of elder abuse, but the resolutions of those cases were incomplete. These nursing home facilities have been the site of resident injuries and deaths. A state investigation found that the Department of Public Health chose not to investigate accusations of abuse of nursing assistants in many of those facilities across the state or there were open and unresolved cases.

In one instance, a resident at an assisted living facility in southern California believed that she would be safe there. Instead, the 95-year-old died from injuries she sustained while at the assisted living facility. Seven years after her untimely death, the family is still waiting for answers from investigators at the California Department of Public Health. This apparently is not an uncommon occurrence.

The nursing home facility claimed that the resident, Elsie, had died from injuries that she sustained when she fell. However, it was stated by a former nursing director at the same facility that Elsie’s injuries came as a result of being punched by a nursing home assistant.

It was stated by the former nursing director that Elsie’s injuries were caused by abuse from one of the facility’s employees.

The trouble with this and more than 900 other cases is that the state regulators have shelved these cases instead of investigating further. Many of them involved suspicious deaths. In fact, there were hundreds of uninvestigated complaints found in the department’s records.

In 2011, a new director of the Department of Public Health took over and admitted that the department’s investigations were not handled properly. There is still a backlog of investigating complaints.

This practice of ignoring or not investigating complaints is widespread. Illinois has not escaped the claim that nursing home abuse cases are not handled correctly or not thoroughly investigated. There are so many complaints of abuse, but too little staff to handle all of them. It is imperative that the Department of Public Health in Illinois be diligent in reviewing all complaints of elder abuse in Illinois nursing home facilities, assisted living facilities and long-term-care facilities throughout the state.

The more these cases are investigated, the better the health and safety of nursing home residents will be.

Kreisman Law Offices has been handling nursing home abuse cases, elder abuse cases and senior citizen abuse matters for individuals and families for more than 37 years in and around Chicago, Cook County and its surrounding areas, including Bridgeview, Rolling Meadows, Oak Lawn, Glencoe, Alsip, Blue Island, Riverdale, Calumet City, Oakbrook, Western Springs, Chicago (Andersonville, Belmont Heights, Austin, Little Village, Brighton Park, Stockyards), Berkeley, Elmhurst and Bensenville, Ill.

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