As millions of Americans ease into old age, and many into non-profit assisted living facilities, some family members search for “alternative care” facilities. These are for-profit nursing homes, the management of which is motivated not by quality health care, but profit and cost-effectiveness. Although staffing-to-resident ratios are subject to strict federal regulations, alternative care facilities are often understaffed and suffer high employee-turnover rates, as well as pay low wages to employees who sometimes have questionable backgrounds, and all of these factors can contribute to cases of neglect and/or abuse of the elderly.
If you are searching for a nursing home for an elderly loved one, the importance of this decision cannot be overstated. Thoroughly investigate your choices after narrowing them down; check for any complaints filed against the facility in the past; request a complete tour of the facility. If you do take a tour and certain common areas are off-limits to you despite residents being present, this may be a red flag.
Those who have a loved one in a nursing home, or are planning to admit him/her to one, should be aware of any and all “red flags” for potential abuse or neglect. If your loved one has been injured in a nursing home, such as a broken bone, bruise, cut, or sore, such injuries should be photographed and documented. While some who are neglected or abused may not say so out of fear, you know your loved one better than anyone in the facility, so pay attention to any odd changes in mood or behavior.
Confusion, depression, lack of energy or cleanliness, and unusual silence can all be signs of abuse. Any questionable incidents or details of incidents – such as unreasonably prohibiting visits during appropriate hours or failure to notify relatives of an injury or illness – should be documented for future reference. It serves as a sort of “paper trail” of evidence if legal action is ever taken against the facility.
After filing a complaint at your local licensing and district office, seeking the assistance of an experienced injury attorney is crucial to ensure that justice is served and compensation can be earned.
If your loved one has suffered abuse or neglect in a nursing home or assisted living facility, contact Mike Agruss Law for a free consultation. We are a Chicago-based injury law firm representing individuals (and their families) who have suffered an injury in an accident. We will handle your case quickly and advise you every step of the way, and we will not hesitate to go to trial for you.
Lastly, Mike Agruss Law is not paid attorneys’ fees unless we win your case. Our no-fee promise is that simple. You have nothing to risk when you hire us – only the opportunity to seek justice.