Elder Abuse in Nursing Homes

Written by Ankin Law Office

Howard Ankin article and infographic

Elder abuse is currently one of the most pressing issues facing seniors in Illinois, and a study performed by federal staffers may show why. The Special Investigations Division of the House Government Reform Committee released a report detailing just how prevalent nursing home abuse has become in the nation. According to ABC News, the report found that 30 percent of the nation’s nursing homes were cited for abuse in just two years. Although this finding may be shocking to some, it likely would not surprise an Illinois nursing home attorney.

Elder Abuse in Nursing Homes

Report Details

According to the National Center on Elder Abuse, more than 16,000 nursing homes are currently operating around the nation. A total of 5,283 facilities were cited within the report as being responsible for nearly 9,000 episodes of nursing home abuse within the previous two years. The most common issues include the following:

  • Inadequate medical care
  • Malnutrition
  • Dehydration
  • Inadequate sanitation and hygiene
  • Untreated bedsores
  • Direct actions of nursing home staff
  • Actions of fellow residents
  • Preventable accidents

Nearly 18 percent of these episodes were severe enough to cause harm to the residents or place their lives in immediate jeopardy of sustaining a serious injury or death.

Some of the cited abuse occurred because of the direct actions of nursing home staff. Other instances were attributed to the actions of fellow residents within these facilities. The report further indicates that both types have been steadily increasing since 2006. The rise in instances of abuse may be due to the steady increase in the elderly population.

 

Disturbing discoveries

A Chicago woman recently discovered that her father had likely been sexually abused while in the care of a nursing home and is now seeking damages. CBS Chicago reports that the elderly man was experiencing gastrointestinal problems and was taken to the hospital to determine the problem. During a procedure to examine certain areas of the digestive tract, doctors discovered a condom within the man’s stomach. The condom was six to seven inches long and contained a hardened material inside. Due to previously performed exams, doctors concluded that the elderly individual had likely been sexually abused during his time at the nursing home. The man, who has since passed away, was both bedridden and non-verbal, a combination that authorities say often puts patients at greater risk for sexual patient abuse. His daughter filed suit on behalf of his estate with the aid of an Illinois nursing home attorney.

 

Seeking relief

Elderly patients and their families do not have to accept these constantly increasing instances of abuse at nursing homes. Those who have been injured due to the negligent or abusive actions of a nursing home worker are encouraged to contact an Illinois nursing home attorney for assistance. With their help, victims and their families may be able to receive compensation for the damages they incurred while at these homes.

Ankin Law Office LLC can help. Call us toll free at (844) 600-0000 or locally at 312-600-0000.

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