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What To Do If You Suspect Nursing Home Abuse

Nursing home abuse is an ongoing issue within long-term care facilities, and a recent article from the Los Angeles Times calls attention to this problem and why people should be concerned. There have been numerous accounts of reported abuse at nursing homes, but according to the article, this information has been kept from the public by government authorities. As the relaxed nature of oversight within this industry continues, many senior citizens’ well-being is put in jeopardy. More people are turning to senior care facilities, as the median age of the U.S. population rises, and many are not fully aware of the potential downsides that can occur in these nursing homes. When one places their parent or relative into a nursing home facility, they expect that they will be treated with the appropriate amount of care, but unfortunately, this is not always what is received. Approximately 400 nursing homes were cited with substandard care by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and the full list is in this report, “Uncovering Poor Care in America’s Nursing Homes.”

Within these facilities, some residents experienced outright neglect, being without proper nutrition, suffering in unsanitary conditions, as well as physical abuse, sexual assault, and premature death. The National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care, an advocacy group, points to the fact that the information not being reported in a timely manner and that it should be concerning for people who are considering placing their loved one in a nursing home facility. Thankfully, Medicare’s Center for Clinical Standards and Quality has now reportedly made it their top priority to focus their attention on ensuring that nursing home quality of care is improved. To guarantee that your loved one will be looked after properly, the article suggests searching for a qualified nursing home on the CMS’ Nursing Home Compare site or searching for other online rankings and information. They also recommend seeking advice from a health care professional, and to schedule a visit to the homes you and your family are interested in.

None the less,  it is still important to know what one should do if they suspect their loved one has been a victim of nursing home abuse. Signs of nursing home abuse can include unexplained injuries, unresponsiveness, a sudden change in weight, obvious signs of poor hygiene, or out-of-the-ordinary behaviors. According to the law, management of nursing home facilities is required to address concerns you may have regarding the care of your loved one. If you suspect that abuse has occurred, it is recommended that you:

  • Discuss the situation with your loved one: Although they may not want to admit it or may feel uncomfortable, it is important to ask them if they were harmed, feel threatened, or have experienced abuse or neglect.
  • Document everything: This can include taking photographs of any injuries or alarming marks, saving medical reports, keeping relevant documents, and writing down everything that has occurred.
  • Talk to nursing home administrators: If you suspect abuse has taken place, it is imperative that you speak with an administrator of the nursing home and discuss your concerns. With this, it is advised that you remain calm and conversate about what can be done to improve your loved one’s well-being.
  • Talk to a nursing home abuse lawyer: Lawyers are equipped to help you pursue a civil lawsuit to recover compensation if your loved one has been suffered injuries. Compensation can aid you in paying bills for medical expenses, emotional distress, or pain and suffering.

If your elderly loved one has been a victim of nursing home abuse and has suffered emotional or physical injuries, the attorneys at Spiros Law, P.C. are experienced in handling cases of these matters. Our attorneys handle each case with compassion and understand the pain and suffering you and your family have experienced. Contact us at (217) 443-4343 to discuss your situation with one of our nursing home abuse attorneys.


Spiros Law Celebrates Its 13th Anniversary

Spiros Law first opened its doors on April 4th, 2005 (then known as Spiros Wall), in Danville. Thirteen years later, we are proud to celebrate our anniversary and thank all of our valued clients, attorneys, and support staff, without whom this would not be possible. Attorneys James Spiros and Karen Wall (currently Judge Wall for Vermilion County) launched the firm as two attorneys with only two support staff, and a goal of helping people in the Illinois community.

Over the past thirteen years, we’ve expanded our Danville office and have opened offices in Kankakee and Champaign. We have been honored to help injured individuals in our community for all of these years, and we look forward to continuing this work in the years to come.


Updated Story: Death of nursing home resident likely the result of “systemic issues” at Good Shepherd Manor

Daily Journal/Tiffany Blanchette

Following the death of a 69-year-old man who was a resident at Good Shepherd Manor nursing home in Moment, the Illinois Department of Public Health released a report citing “systemic issues” at the home. The report faults the elder care facility for the man’s death from heat stroke after being left in a facility van after a group shopping trip.

Investigators cited Good Shepherd’s violations of the group’s own policies, including a policy prohibiting outdoor activities when the outside temperature exceeds 90 degrees (the temperature the day in question was 92.7 degrees, according to reports), as well as the fact that only one individual in the group of thirteen was authorized to go on the shopping trip. According to the story in The Daily Journal:

“Ultimately, the report concludes that “based on review and interview the governing body and management failed to provide facility operating direction and oversight resulting in systemic issues affecting all 15 individuals who reside at the facility.” It adds: “The facility failed to develop and implement policies and procedures documenting protocols to ensure the safety of residents when participating in community outings.”

The proper care of elderly family members and friends is a responsibility that should not be taken lightly. When elder care facilities fail to follow their own policies and procedures, residents may suffer unnecessarily. We will continue to monitor and report on this continuing story. For more information, contact the attorneys of Spiros Law, P.C. today at (217) 443-4343 or check back on our blog for updates.


Alleged violations lead to $50,000 fines for two Danville nursing homes

Danville Care Center and Gardenview Manor, two nursing homes in the Danville area, were both cited with Type AA violations and have each been fined $50,000 in connection to alleged violations that led to resident deaths. This information was released this week by the Illinois Department of Public Health in its first quarter nursing home violation report.

Type AA violations are given “when there is a condition or occurrence at a facility that proximately caused a resident’s death”. This violation is the third in four consecutive months for Gardenview Manor, a 213-bed facility located at 14792 Catlin-Tilton Road in Danville. Authorities say the facility failed to properly assess a particular resident’s risk for falls and serious injury and institute the correct safeguards accordingly. The resident suffered a serious fall that resulted in serious injuries that led to the individual’s unfortunate death.

The other facility, Danville Care Center, received the Type AA violation in March. The facility failed to “honor a resident’s Advanced Directive and provide cardiopulmonary resuscitation when the resident was found unresponsive.” According to the News Gazette story, the facility has requested a hearing.

At Spiros Law, we believe that the elderly should be treated with the utmost care and compassion at all times. When we place our loved ones in the care of an elder care facility, we have a reasonable expectation that our loved ones will be tended to and cared for with respect and dignity. Failure to safeguard the health and well-being of a parent or grandparent is unacceptable. If your loved one has suffered injury or worse due to the negligent actions of a caregiver or facility, do not hesitate to contact us immediately to discuss your rights and the actions you may take to hold them accountable.


Illinois campaigns against elder abuse by wearing purple

The state of Illinois recently united to join the worldwide campaign against elder neglect and abuse, a June 16 article of WAND 17 reported. Elder abuse is considered an alarming issue in the state.

On June 15, personnel at the Illinois Department of Aging wore purple to show solidarity and to campaign against any kind of elderly neglect or abuse. Last year alone there were over 15,000 incidents of neglect and abuse towards elderly people reported to the department. A significant number of cases the department responded to involved victims of financial exploitation. Department of Aging Director Jean Bohnhoff has emphasized the importance of intervention in saving lives. Officials believe that many cases of elder neglect and abuse go unreported, and people are encouraged to report any suspicion of neglect or abuse.

If you suspect that your elderly loved one is being neglected or abused, working with an experienced attorney is an important step toward ending your loved one’s suffering. Speak with an attorney at Spiros Law, P.C., in Danville by calling (217) 443-4343 to begin your legal action against negligent parties.