It is not new that nursing home residents are too often at risk for abuse, neglect and injury in the more than 17,000 nursing home facilities operating in the United States. Too many times these facilities are understaffed or staffed with untrained or unskilled workers. All of this results in many reports of serious physical, verbal and even sexual abuse in Illinois nursing homes and in other states.
It has been more than a decade since there was a two-year investigative study completed that found more than 9,000 instances of abuse. The most common abuse problems are untreated bedsores followed by inadequate medical care, malnutrition, dehydration, falls, inadequate hygiene and cases of wandering residents.
The aging of adult Americans places even more stress on nursing home facilities and long-term care facilities in which the aging are most likely to be residing. The cost of maintaining a resident at a qualified nursing home is now out of reach for many families. Many times a family member or a loved one becomes unmanageable at home because of illness, injury, age, dementia or other onset of the conditions related to aging.
Nursing home abuse cases are many and some are startling in that residents suffer physical abuse by personnel, neglect by medical providers, or they are injured severely enough to be brain-damaged or burned because of fire unnoticed by nursing home employees. Today there are more than 1.6 million people living in 17,000 nursing homes across the country. Most of the nursing homes are for-profit businesses. It turns out that the federal government is the biggest contributor of nursing home care, which is mostly through the payments made by Medicaid, a joint federal-state healthcare program for the poor, and Medicare, which is the federal program for elderly and disabled people.
Inspection of nursing homes is important. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services contracts with the states to conduct annual inspections of nursing homes. Each state, including Illinois, investigates any complaint of individual abuse as reported by residents or family members. Some believe that there is sufficient proof that nonprofit nursing home facilities do better and provide a higher level of care than those that are for-profit. The nonprofit nursing home facilities do better maybe because they have higher staffing levels and perhaps more volunteers. They also get more government funding than for-profit nursing home organizations. Illinois has enacted the Nursing Home Care Act that leverages residents of nursing homes against the rising tide of injury, abuse and neglect. The act serves as a way to make accountable nursing homes that take advantage of its residents or provide less than adequate facilities and personnel.
Robert Kreisman of Kreisman Law Offices has been assisting and helping nursing home residents, their families and loved ones for more than 38 years in providing the highest level of legal services for those who have been injured or killed because of nursing home abuse in and around Chicago, Cook County and its surrounding areas, including Chicago (Chinatown, Pill Hill, Oz Park, Pilsen, Portage Park, Printers Row, Pulaski Park, Ravenswood Manor, Roscoe Village, Sauganash, South Loop, Sheffield, South Shore, West Loop, Wrigleyville, Jefferson Park, Irving Park, Hyde Park, Greek Town, Forest Glen, Loyola Park, Lincoln Park, Lincoln Center, Avondale), Joliet, Highland Park, Berwyn, Cicero, Forest Park, Maywood, Hillside and Villa Park, Ill.
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