If you are considering placing your loved one in a nursing home, you likely have a lot on your plate. A million questions run through your mind: Where should I place my loved one? How will they be treated? How is the food? Will the staff treat my loved one well? What kind of activities are offered?
According to a Kaiser Family Foundation study, of the over 15,000 nursing homes throughout the United States, nearly 1/3 of them receive a rating of 1 or 2 stars on a 5 star scale. The rating system is implemented and overseen by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and is based on reported deficiencies. One of the scariest aspects of this study is the fact that much of the abuse and neglect that occurs in nursing homes goes unreported. If over 1/3 of the nursing homes are considered low rated homes based on the reported deficiencies, the actual number of substandard nursing homes is likely much higher. So how do you choose a "good" nursing home? Ratings are one way to start, but they shouldn't be your only source of information. It is important to visit the nursing home, ask questions, talk to staff, talk to visiting family if you see them in the halls. Do everything you can to get as much information on the nursing home as you can. While a poor rating or great rating can be a good starting point in your research, it is important to remember that the rating is only the beginning. Take your time with your nursing home search, and remember that this is the place where your loved one is going to be possibly be residing for the rest of their life. Making the right decision in the beginning can make a significant difference in your loved ones quality of life. If you suspect that your loved one has already been a victim of abuse or neglect in a nursing home, or if you simply want to receive more information on choosing the right nursing home, call an rating system today to learn about your rights under the law.
Say Cheese! Video cameras may be coming to a nursing home near you as early as January 1, 2016. With elder abuse and neglect on the rise, in 2015 Illinois passed a law for the use of cameras in nursing homes. Beginning in the New Year, families will have the opportunity to have recording devices installed in their loved ones nursing home room. Concerns over the cost of the program and privacy rights led legislators to force families to pay for the installation and use of the cameras, and also requires that residents with roommates obtain consent from the roommate before a camera can be used.
Tragically, inadequate care has become an accepted reality for the more than one million people living in nursing homes across the country. The lay person thinking of a nursing home typically thinks about it in a similar manner as they would a hospital. Unfortunately, as more corporations enter the skilled nursing industry with a primary motive of maximizing profits from each patient, the end result can mean significant injuries or even fatalities to those they are entrusted to care for.
Choosing an Illinois nursing home and protecting our loved ones from neglect is a very important and serious decision that many of us will need to make in our lifetimes. How do you choose the right nursing home for your loved one when there are literally hundreds of options in Illinois? There are a number of factors to consider before choosing a nursing home, some of which include, the amount of staff at the facility, whether the staff are pleasant and caring, the quality of the food, the proximity of the nursing home to loved ones who can visit, and of course, whether your loved one will feel comfortable in the nursing home.
Clients ask our attorneys all of the time, "How can I guarantee my loved one gets good care in a nursing home?" The truth is, there is no guarantee, but there are steps you can take to help make sure your loved one gets the care that was promised.
A very troubling case of nursing home abuse occurred at Rosewood Care Center in March of 2014 when two nursing aides were caught physically abusing a 97-year-old resident of Rosewood Care Center in St. Charles, Illinois. One aide slapped the resident with a nylon strap while the other nursing aide recorded the terrible incident. The resident was heard crying "Don't! Don't!" as the nursing aides could be heard laughing in the background.
When a loved one is injured in a nursing home, determining what steps to take can be confusing. One option you have is to call an attorney that is experienced in handling nursing home claims to get advice. Additionally, in Illinois, the state, by and through the Illinois Department of Public Health, conducts investigations into injuries of nursing home residents resulting from abuse or neglect. This service is separate and apart from hiring an attorney. To have the Illinois Department of Public Health investigate potential signs of abuse or neglect, you can call the Illinois Department of Public Health Nursing Home Hotline and report the situation to (800) 252-4343.
The use of restraints in nursing homes is a controversial topic, with one side calling for their use to protect their loved ones health, and the other side calling for their elimination to protect their loved ones independence. Both health and independence are important, but as it stands, many believe that the law is inadequate to protect both health and independence simultaneously. The Illinois nursing home abuse and neglect attorneys at Rosenberg, Eisenberg & Associates, LLC, recognize the importance of this debate, and hope to see the law revisited and perfected.