Contact Us
Blog

nursing home guardianship debts, Chicago nursing home neglect lawyerIt is a difficult decision to make to move a family member into a nursing home. After going through the steps to find the best facility to ensure the family member gets the care and attention needed, sometimes families may be shocked if they receive a petition from the nursing home for guardianship over their family member. The Illinois Nursing Home Care Act is written to protect the rights of the elderly in nursing homes and reduce the possibility of abuse and neglect, including management of their finances.

After a family member has moved into a nursing home, services begin to be billed to the spouse, family member, or guardian, sometimes reaching thousands of dollars each month. Those who question the cost above the original stated cost can quickly accumulate debt they did not account for. If they refuse to pay the overage until they see the statement of services or Medicaid has paid their portion, the amount owed to the nursing home continue to increase. This may lead the nursing home to file a petition for guardianship to collect debts for the resident.

It is the responsibility of the party filing the petition to provide proof that a guardianship is needed; after it has been clearly demonstrated the person in question is unable to make their own decisions.

...

nursing home care, Chicago nursing home negligence lawyersA law signed by Illinois Governor Pat Quinn went into effect at the first of the New Year to help protect the safety, care, and rights of senior citizens in the state. The law is designed to improve reporting procedures, investigations, and swifter resolutions for negligence and abuse of elders in nursing homes.

A National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA) research brief reveals that over 50 percent of nursing home staff admitted to mistreating elder patients. Physical abuse was the highest reported type of abuse occurring in nursing homes and two-thirds of the incidents of mistreatment involved neglect. With research showing over 40 percent of people over the age of 65 will enter a nursing home before they die, these disturbing statistics are cause for high alert and concern among families.

Nursing home residents suffering neglect have been victim to:

...

nursing home abuse, Chicago nursing home neglect attorneyTransitioning a family member into a nursing home is a decision that takes time, research, and careful thought before selecting a placement. The chosen facility needs to be safe with resources and staff available to create a suitable living environment. These expectations of proper security have been under scrutiny more recently as new research from the Gerontological Society of America has shown that nearly one in five people living in a nursing home is a victim of abuse.

Hostile and unsafe incidents among elderly residents, including physical assault, are occurring at such a common rate at long-term care facilities that staff members almost seem unaware of the growing problem. This negligence is leading to injuries, such as bruises, lacerations, and fractures, putting residents in danger in their own home.

Lead author of this latest study, Karl Pillemer, a professor at Weill Cornell Medical College and Cornell University, attributes part of the problem to crowded conditions and lack of adequate staff for the number of residents needing care. In order to shed light on this dangerous reality of nursing home abuse, he says data collection of the incidents is just the beginning.

...

Families with concerns about placing their relatives in long-term care may soon be given an extra sense of security. A new Illinois bill proposed earlier this month has the potential to give families, whose loved ones are in nursing homes, extra peace of mind through video monitoring.

If approved, the law would allow the installation of video cameras or audio recording devices by families in their relative’s nursing home room. Consent would be required of residents who are monitored.

States including Maryland, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, and Washington all have passed similar laws. When a family member cannot make an in-person nursing home visit, video access will allow them to check-in on their relatives throughout the day.

...

Unfortunately, many elderly individuals face abuse and neglect in nursing homes today. As a Chicago personal injury attorney who tries many nursing home abuse cases, I have seen the devastating impact of nursing home abuse and neglect on the elderly and their loved ones. Yet, there are numerous ways to protect your loved one from receiving poor treatment both while selecting nursing homes and after your loved one enters a home.

Linda Johnson of the AP provides very helpful suggestions for ensuring that your loved one is not subjected to nursing home abuse. First, she suggests finding a nursing home that is close to your home. This will allow you to frequently visit your loved one and monitor the care that he or she is receiving. Second, she encourages those looking for nursing homes to get references on the facilities and to particularly favor facilities that are certified by Medicare. Third, she suggests examining the ratio of aides to patients to ensure your loved ones will be adequately cared for. Finally, she wisely suggests observing the overall atmosphere while visiting the facility. Specifically, you should look to see if patients seem happy and if the staff is treating the patients with care and respect.

The choice of nursing homes is a very important decision that can greatly influence the experience of your loved ones late in life. I highly encourage you to follow Linda Johnson’s guide to avoid the tragic situations of nursing home abuse that I see on a day to day basis.

...
To Top