Healy Scanlon Law Firm

Preventing elder abuse in Illinois nursing homes


Nursing home abuse is a heartbreaking reality in Illinois. Many elderly residents have fallen victim to such abuse often at the hands of nursing home staff. Many senior residents of Illinois live in the nursing homes due to prolonged illnesses and the need for constant medical care. However, many family members are often unaware of the daily abuse and neglect faced by their elderly members living in such institutions.

Illinois laws strictly prohibit nursing home abuse, which can take various forms such as physical and emotional abuse and sexual and psychological trauma inflicted on the elderly. Sometimes, nursing home staff may isolate an elderly patient, completely ignoring and neglecting the patient's physical well-being. Visiting family members must monitor their loved one's behavior and overall physical condition to detect any sign of neglect or nursing home abuse.

Many programs have been created by Illinois authorities to make family members aware of the dangers of nursing home abuse. Various means can be employed to prevent nursing home abuse and neglect. Senior citizens are encouraged to have an active social life because isolation from other residents provides the opportunity for abuse and neglect. A resident who experiences abuse or neglect by nursing home staff must immediately report the incident to the authorities or visiting family members and friends. Not speaking out against such abuse may aid the abuser in continuing this abuse and on the individual but also other residents.

Family members are also encouraged to be vigilant about the nursing home they choose for their loved ones. When a resident complains to family members, they too are advised to report abuse to law enforcement. Checking the financial accounts of senior family members may reveal any unscrupulous financial transactions done by staff. In the event of grave abuse and neglect resulting in major physical, sexual, psychological or even financial abuse, the resident or the resident's family may wish to obtain legal help from an Illinois elder abuse lawyer. At the very least, it is always important to be aware of the rights afforded to nursing home residents.

Source: WomensHealth.gov, "Nursing home abuse," Accessed on Jan. 14, 2015

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