Chicago Astoria Place Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Attorneys
When a nursing home facility says that they offer the “gold standard” of care, you expect them to treat your loved one like you would. You expect them to treat the elderly like family. It’s hard coming to terms with the fact that you can’t always be there to help an aging family member, so you do your research. Terms like “serene healing environment” and “gracious living” come up, with pictures of smiling individuals. It looks picture-perfect, but how do you know that your loved one will receive the skilled care they need at this time in their life?
Nursing homes like Astoria Place may boast that they offer round-the-clock care in a compassionate environment, but you need more than words and promises. Alarming statistics, like those from the World Health Organization, find that two in three staff members at long-term care facilities admitted to committing some form of elder abuse.
At Karlin, Fleisher & Falkenberg, LLC, we know you can’t always rely on the word of a staff member or a fancy website to ensure that your family member is being treated with dignity and respect. What you can trust is that our attorneys will work hard to thoroughly investigate claims of nursing home abuse and hold those responsible accountable for their actions.
If you are beginning to suspect that something may be wrong with a loved one and they may be the victim of abuse, call us at 312-346-8620 for a consultation. You need the legal advice our experienced team of nursing home abuse attorneys can give you.
What Is Nursing Home Abuse?
Nursing home abuse can be defined as someone with power or authority over an elderly person, intentionally causing them harm or putting them in jeopardy. In many cases involving nursing homes, the person with power over the elderly is a caregiver or staff member. While we think of harm mainly in terms of physical injury, that isn’t always the case in a long-term care facility. Yes, physical abuse happens, but there are also other forms of abuse that take place, as well, including sexual abuse, emotional or psychological abuse, and financial abuse. Neglect, or the lack of action, is also considered a form of abuse.
If you notice frequent illnesses or unexplained injuries, changes in mood or behavior, dehydration, malnutrition, poor hygiene, depression, or other changes in your loved one, these may be signs that something is wrong.
What Can Cause Nursing Home Abuse?
When we entrust our loved one’s care to a skilled nursing home facility, we are operating under the belief that, as a medical facility, they are doing their due diligence. That means they are hiring the right people, doing proper background screenings, and putting health and safety above profit.
Unfortunately, that isn’t always the case. There are a variety of reasons that nursing home abuse takes place. We may never be able to wrap our minds around why someone would want to purposely hurt the most vulnerable in our community. However, understanding the circumstances that may lead to abusive situations can help you better watch for the signs of abuse.
Here are some of the more common situations that can lead to abuse:
- Understaffing – One of the significant issues that leads to cases of abuse is frequent or chronic understaffing of a facility. This means that there are not enough caregivers to adequately provide for the number of residents at the facility. Understaffing can lead to burnout and stress for caregivers. The result may be physically or emotionally lashing out at residents or neglecting their needs because they don’t have the time to attend to every resident.
- Inadequate Training – Inadequate or improper training procedures can mean that staff members are not properly equipped to deal with residents or their needs. They may abuse residents or neglect basic medical needs because they don’t know what to look for. Staff members who don’t have adequate training may give a resident the wrong medication or not document necessary information in their chart, leading to mistakes down the road.
- Poor Hiring Practices – Nursing home facilities have a duty to hire qualified professionals to fill their job openings. That means they must have the proper medical and educational background for the position they apply for. If a nursing home is lax on background checks or other important hiring practices, it means they may be putting someone in charge of your loved one who has a criminal background or does not have the proper medical credentials.
- Lack of Supervision – A nursing home is also in charge of putting safeguards in place to protect both its residents and its staff members. That means making sure there is ample supervision and help available for caregivers.
- Poor Oversight or Corporate Management – It is simply a fact that many nursing homes are considered for-profit businesses. When a business structure values money and profit over health and safety, the result can lead to abuse. Not devoting time and resources to a facility in favor of increased profit margins for the quarter can have disastrous consequences for elderly residents dependent on those resources for their care.
Can Karlin, Fleisher & Falkenberg, LLC Help My Family?
We understand, you put your trust in a facility, and they let you and your family down. It may be hard to put your trust and faith in anyone else right now, but for the sake of your family, let us win back your trust.
At Karlin, Fleisher & Falkenberg, LLC, we know how important it is to fight for the rights of the elderly in our community. We have the ability and the skill to investigate your concerns and get to the bottom of what is happening to your loved one. If you suspect abuse, don’t wait to share your fears with us. The longer you wait, hoping for more “concrete evidence,” the more your family member suffers.
Pick up the phone and call 312-346-8620 to schedule a consultation. A skilled nursing home abuse attorney can help you determine what your legal options are and start investigating your claims.