When a loved one can no longer live independently, a tough decision must be made about the best option for care. Such a decision often must be made during a time of crisis, frequently when your loved one is ready to leave the hospital after a serious illness or operation. Illinois has approximately 1,400 longterm care facilities or nursing homes, serving more than 100,000 residents from the young to the elderly. Sadly, nursing home abuse and neglect, also known as elder abuse is far too common. The Illinois Department of Public Health’s 24-hour a day nursing home hotline receives nearly 19,000 calls a year. And as a result, staff respond to more than 5,000 complaints per year. In addition to federal laws, the safety and rights of nursing home residents in Illinois are protected under the Illinois Nursing Home Care Act. If you notice that your loved one exhibits any of the following, you should act immediately. Broken bones, bedsores, bruises, head injuries, dehydration or malnutrition, poor hygiene, soiled bedding, rapid weight loss, sudden agitation or emotional withdrawal, frequent crying or complaints of poor treatment, nursing home abuse and neglect can take many forms. Know the warning signs so you can better protect your loved ones. If you have any questions about nursing home abuse or neglect, contact us. We’re here for you 24/7.