When we have to make the decision to put our aging family members in a nursing home, we believe it is because they will be taken care of. However, recent studies indicate that neglect and abuse in nursing homes and among elderly care patients is both widespread and growing. It’s estimated that only 1 in 14 cases of neglect or abuse gets reported, but as many as 1 in 20 nursing home residents are the victims of abuse. Many residents don’t report abuse because they may not be aware they’ve been victimized or know just what constitutes abuse (psychological, sexual, or financial abuse are hard to notice). Warning signs for abuse or neglect include:
- Bed sores
- Poor hygiene and/or unsanitary living conditions
The main reason abuse seems to happen is not because of a lack of caring by the staff, but because the nursing home is either understaffed or inadequately trained. Almost half of nursing homes don’t have the number of nursing aides required and about 25 percent are below the level for all licensed staff. Federal regulations only require a Registered Nurse (RN) to be on staff for eight hours a day, seven days a week. Twenty-four hour care is only required in six states (Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Maryland, Rhode Island, and Tennessee) and the District of Columbia. Low pay and high turnover in RN staffing also contributes to the low level of care.
If a loved one has been the victim of nursing home abuse in Chicago, call the Law Offices of Mark L. Karno & Associates at 312-574-3362 for your free consultation. We welcome clients from Aurora, Chicago, and the surrounding communities. Our experienced nursing home abuse lawyers work on a contingency fee basis – we don’t get paid until you do.