What You Need to Know If You Are Considering a Nursing Home Abuse Lawsuit
Residents of Illinois nursing homes have important rights and protections regarding their care and treatment, which are described in the Nursing Home Care Act of Illinois and the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1987 (OBRA '87). Primary among these protections against nursing home abuse are:
- the right to be free from nursing home abuse or neglect;
- the right to receive adequate assistance with meals, dressing, movement, bathing or other personal needs; and
- the right to have general supervision and oversight of a resident's physical and mental well being.
Failure of a nursing home to comply with these rights may be considered nursing home malpractice and subject to a nursing home abuse lawsuit.
Sometimes the nursing home resident's condition, which caused the individual to be placed in a nursing home, makes communication with him or her difficult. For instance, a patient admitted because of Alzheimer's disease or dementia may not be able to explain the conduct of nursing home staff or residents, or the condition of the premises that resulted in an accident. In these circumstances, it is important for family members to be aware of the resident's overall state of well being, both before and after suffering personal injury from an accident. Similarly, it is important for family members to be aware of specific physician's orders so that in the event of an accident, the records can be reviewed for compliance. For example, a diabetic resident may have both dietary restrictions and insulin requirements that must be followed. A resident with physical or neurological problems may be unable to walk independently. If an accident ensues because insulin shots were not given, or the resident was allowed to wander about unattended, there may well be grounds for a nursing home abuse lawsuit.
Each resident's particular circumstances must be evaluated and physician's orders/ treatment followed, if a nursing home is to be more than a mere warehouse for the aged or disabled. Nursing home residents under both Illinois and Federal law have specific protections designed to ensure the quality of their care and treatment, preserve their human dignity and avoid nursing home abuse. These rights must be protected, especially given the fragile and often vulnerable status of a nursing home resident. Families can play a significant role in making sure that a loved one in a nursing home is in fact receiving appropriate care and treatment, and to trigger a nursing home lawsuit should it be appropriate. For more information on a nursing home resident's legal rights, please contact the nursing home abuse lawyers at Lipkin & Higgins. From our Chicago law firm, we have worked with and for nursing home residents throughout the state of Illinois and would be happy to discuss your case with you, contact us today.