A nursing home should be a place where a Cook County resident may live knowing that their medical and personal care will be attended to by competent medical professionals and facility staff. Individuals who choose to move into nursing homes often do so because they can no longer manage their own needs and require assistance from others to attend to their day-to-day requirements. Maintaining sufficient staff is presumably necessary for a nursing home to ensure that all of its residents are provided with adequate care.
It is important to watch for signs of nursing home abuse and for family members of elderly patients in nursing homes to be familiar with the legal resources available to protect them. Family members may oftentimes be able to observe problems in the nursing home setting earlier on so it is helpful to know what to watch for.
Victims of nursing home neglect and their families should be familiar with the legal resources available to them when an incident arises. A nursing home is appealing a $25,000 fine from the state of Illinois for an incident where the staff failed to notice a change in a patient's health and respond accordingly. The patient later died. An inspection report from the Illinois Department of Health reports that the victim was taken from the nursing home to an emergency room. The victim died four days after being taken to the emergency room with pneumonia and sepsis, which are both serious infections.
Legal protections are available for victims of nursing home negligence and their families. A judge in Illinois recently upheld a jury award of $4.1 million to the family of a nursing home resident that was not given her anti-clotting medication, suffered a stroke and later died. The judge also added $1.5 million in attorney's fees to be paid by the nursing home to the woman's family. Representatives for the victim's family noted that the award of damages was a record under the Illinois Nursing Home Care Act. Representatives for the nursing home noted they intend to appeal the award of damages and are requesting a new trial.
When a loved one is entrusted to the care of a nursing home, it can be challenging for everyone. When the loved one becomes the victim of nursing home neglect or nursing home abuse, it can be devastating for the victim and their family, which is why it is important to be familiar with legal resources that can help when a loved one has been harmed.
As most patients in Chicago area nursing homes or skilled nursing facilities are of the age to qualify for Medicare benefits, they are afforded certain legal rights under the Medicare program. Not only can a facility be punished by Medicare if they violate these rights, a violation can also form the basis of a personal injury, medical malpractice, or wrongful death lawsuit if it turns out that a patient is injured or killed as a result of the violation.
A previous post on this blog talked about how an Illinois nursing home got fined after a patient left a nursing home without being noticed. The home received the fine for violating rules and regulations that govern nursing homes.
An Illinois nursing home received a $75,000 fine recently for violations in two unrelated incidents, including a nursing home death. In one case, a patient died after being strangled on his own nightgown straps. In a separate case, a patient left the nursing home undetected.
Partially in response to a lobbying effort by a trade association representing nursing homes, the federal administrative agency in charge of Medicare and Medicaid has changed its approach to fining nursing homes which are caught not properly caring for patients.
A previous post on this blog talked about how malnutrition in nursing homes is way too common in Illinois. Making matters worse, malnutrition cases in nursing homes are preventable as usually, a little bit of awareness on the part of the nursing home's staff can stop a case of malnutrition from developing.