Three common signs of Illinois nursing home negligence

Placing an elderly loved one in a nursing facility is a difficult decision. There are always some concerns regarding the standard or care and how a vulnerable relative will be treated. When an elderly person suffers from dementia, for example, he or she may not be able to complain or tell family members when he or she experiences nursing home abuse or neglect.

The Illinois Nursing Home Care Act provides that an administrator, employee or anyone affiliated with a nursing home cannot abuse or neglect a resident. Those who operate a nursing facility must use a reasonable standard of care. In cases, where a negligent act or omission causes injury or death to a nursing home resident, the injured resident or his or her family will often be able to seek monetary damages.

The Illinois Department of Public Health conducts annual surveys at long-term facilities in the state to ensure they are complying with laws and regulations. However, this once a year survey may miss signs on neglect or abuse.

The family of a nursing home resident should watch for the following signs and contact an Illinois attorney who specializes in nursing home negligence cases if concerns arise.

Bed sores

Pressure ulcers or bed sores are caused by continual pressure in one spot that cuts off blood to tissues and the skin. This can happen when someone is confined to a hospital bed or wheel chair. These sores can form in places that have little padding, such as the back of the head, ears, elbows, shoulder blades, hips and tailbone. Friction, if dragged over a surface when changing positions, is another cause.

When a facility fails to identify or treat pressure sores, they can turn into large wounds. Open wounds or bed sores may also be the underlying cause of sepsis, which is a serious infection of the bloodstream caused by bacteria.

Unexplained injury possibly caused by a fall

Often a fall resulting in a hip or knee injury can lead to the death of an otherwise healthy and active senior. When mobility becomes a concern, a care facility should incorporate a care plan that provides for more assistance. A gap in supervision or failure to complete a resident nursing admission could indicate nursing home negligence.

Weight loss and dehydration

When an elderly person starts to lose weight rapidly, it could indicate that there is a problem with a care plan. Dehydration and weight loss may speed an overall decline and increase the risks of a fall.

If you have concerns about the care your elderly loved one receives at a nursing facility, contact an Illinois nursing home neglect attorney. For instance, it can be hard to determine what actually caused a fall. An attorney who handles nursing home negligence cases may be able to spot issues from past experience and provide advice on taking further action.