A significant number of Illinois residents live in long-term care facilities, often referred to as nursing homes. Across America, an estimated 3.2 million individuals live in these facilities, where they and their loved ones expect to receive the care and supervision they deserve. Most of the nearly 17,000 nursing homes across the country are well-equipped to live up to this duty, but there are some that commit nursing home negligence and nursing home abuse.
While these issues are both prevalent and under-discussed, nursing home abuse is perhaps a less talked about problem, leading many to believe that it is nothing more than isolated incidents. The reality, though, is startling. One study found that half of all nursing home staff admitted to mistreating a nursing home resident. This includes neglect and physical and emotional abuse. Nearly half, 44 percent, of nursing home residents have reported being abused while in a nursing home, and 95 percent claim to have been neglected or witnessed the abuse or neglect of another resident.
This is troubling and, when taken into account with the reality that almost one-third of all nursing homes in the U.S. have been cited for violations, which include neglect and abuse, it paints a terrifying picture. Perhaps the most vulnerable individuals amongst us are being treated in ways that leave them seriously injured, with a worsened medical condition, and, in some instances, dead.
Such treatment is unacceptable, and those responsible for nursing home neglect and abuse should be held accountable. One way to do this is to take legal action against them. By filing a civil lawsuit, a nursing home victim or his or her surviving family may be able to pursue the much needed compensation to cover various damages while at the same time obtain the justice they need to find closure.
Source: National Center on Elder Abuse, “Abuse of Residents of Long Term Care Facilities,” accessed on May 13, 2016