Across the United States, including Illinois, more and more families are forced to place their elderly loved ones in care facilities and nursing homes, as they do not have the skills, nor the resources, to see to the needs posed by these individuals. When an elderly person is placed in a facility geared to the care of the elderly, the family and their elderly loved one place their trust in the staff employed by the facility. Unfortunately, when one considers the number of cases of nursing home abuse and neglect, it becomes apparent that the trust placed in facilities are not always honored.
Statistically, 10 percent of all elderly will be abused every year, and more than 2 million cases of abuse of older individuals are reported. What is very disconcerting is that the majority of cases are never reported, which makes the reality much worse. The aforementioned figures clearly illustrates the vulnerability of the elderly.
When a loved one in a care facility or nursing home is abused, neglected or mistreated, the relationship of trust between the facility and the family has been shattered. When family members become aware of any such incidences, they have the fullest right to file a civil case against the facility. A lack of funds should not deter such a family from taking legal steps, as many personal injury lawyers work on a contingency bases, with no initial cost to the plaintiff.
A facility owes a duty of care to the elderly person in its care, as well as the family. Under Illinois law, a breach of duty of care through negligence or criminal intent may result in a court assigning liability to the facility and/or individuals. If nursing home abuse or neglect is suspected, it should be reported and legal steps should be taken. A consultation with a personal injury lawyer can assist the immediate family member to protect his or her vulnerable loved one from further maltreatment.
Source: nursinghomeabuseguide.org, “Nursing Home Abuse Statistics“, Accessed on Dec. 11, 2016