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Nursing home neglect plaguing the elderly

It is common knowledge that as one grows old, the need for medical care increases as well. Many times senior citizens are put in a nursing home for their well-being. However, many times it has been observed that the medical practitioners or the medical staff at the nursing home engages in severe elder abuse or elder neglect. Illinois has stringent rules against such neglect and abuse.

Recently, a 76-year-old woman died due to alleged nursing home neglect and abuse. Her family sued both nursing homes that had taken her, charging them for the continual neglect that led to severe bedsores in multiple places. The family had initiated a lawsuit against both nursing homes that amounted to a total of $110 million.

The corporation, in order to avoid wrongful death cases against the nursing home, has allegedly transferred most of its liabilities to a shell company, which does not have any assets. The family of the victim stated that there were five other families who could not sue the nursing home for the fraudulent transfer of liabilities. The court had agreed to hear the plea again next month.

Elder abuse and neglect in nursing homes have become a grave problem in Illinois. A study conducted by National Center for Elder Abuse revealed that almost 44 percent of elders in a nursing home had been victims of nursing home abuse. A catastrophic 95 percent stated that they were victims of nursing home neglect or had witnessed such neglect in the nursing home.

Keeping in mind the staggering data for elder abuse and neglect in the nursing homes, one must be aware of all laws and proceedings before putting their family members in such an institution. One should contact legal professionals if a family member becomes a victim of such abuse or neglect. Neglect by nursing home staff can lead to severe infections and even death as seen above. The nursing homes, in most such cases, can be sued for medical malpractice or wrongful death for the loss suffered by the victim and their family.

Source: BusinessWeek.com, "Nursing home neglect trial fights shell company transfers", Margaret Cronin Fisk, Sep. 22, 2014

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