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Nursing Home Neglect: An Inside Look at the Illinois System

May 26, 2022  ·  By HM&M

Nursing Home Neglect: An Inside Look at the Illinois System

Choosing to enter a loved one into a long-term care facility or nursing home can be difficult. In addition to the many choices—location, cost, and services needed—there is also an emotional toll.

You may ask yourself, “Am I choosing the right facility?” or “How will I know my loved one is taken care of?” Fortunately, you can ease many of your concerns by educating yourself on the intricacies of nursing home neglect. 

What is Nursing Home Neglect?

According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), under Illinois state law, institutional neglect is defined as “a failure in a long-term care facility to provide adequate medical or personal care or maintenance, which failure results in physical or mental injury to a resident or in the deterioration of a residents’ physical or mental condition.”

You may notice your loved one is being neglected during your visits to the facility or during a virtual appointment. If you attempt to contact your loved one at the nursing home and are unable to do so, there may be cause for concern.

Nursing home neglect may occur in many different scenarios and often goes hand-in-hand with abuse. Forms of nursing home neglect and abuse include physical, emotional, sexual, and financial.

If you suspect your loved one is a victim of nursing home neglect, please contact an experienced trial lawyer and your state’s Department of Public Health or Adult Protective Services (some states offer a Department of Aging for senior crises). 

According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, nursing homes are inspected at least once every six to 15 months. However, on average, the inspections occur once every 12 months. Whether the inspection is routine or part of a complaint, the facility will not be notified when the inspection will be occurring. 

After the inspections, the findings are shared with the nursing home and any necessary citations are issued. 

Who Regulates Nursing Homes in Illinois?

In the State of Illinois, nursing homes must be licensed, regulated, inspected, and/or certified by several agencies at the state and federal levels. Most commonly, the Department of Public Health and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

The purpose of the Illinois Department of Public Health, as it pertains to nursing homes, ensures the facilities are in full compliance with state regulations. According to the Illinois Department of Health (IDPH), approximately 1,300 full, on-site licensure inspections of nursing homes and 6,000 complaints are handled annually. 

Top Chicago Elder Abuse Attorneys 

If you are looking for an elder abuse attorney, Hurley McKenna & Mertz would be honored to help you and your family. A free consultation is available to you as a way to understand what your legal rights to compensation are. 

Successful Cases

Hurley McKenna & Mertz has successfully handled hundreds of personal injury cases of all types and sizes, with record-breaking jury verdicts. 

Take a look at some of our most notable results:

  • $6,800,000 (Chicago) Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect: Verdict plus settlement on behalf of an 81-year-old woman who suffered the loss of her kidney function and needed permanent dialysis due to improper use of gentamicin at a nursing home.
  • $3,750,000 (Chicago) Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect: Settlement for an elderly woman with Alzheimer’s Disease who was sexually abused by an employee of her nursing home.

Click here for more success stories.

Our trusted attorneys are ready to help those injured at the hands of another and our team has ample experience and a history of achieving results favoring victims. Contact us today.


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