Because the state of Illinois ranks last in terms of nursing home staffing levels, employees are often overworked and very stressed. This dangerous combination is unfortunately linked with high rates of nursing home abuse in Illinois. Fortunately, those abused in Illinois nursing homes may be able to take legal action.
Recent Nursing Home Abuse Cases in Illinois
Nursing home abuse and neglect are well-known problems across the U.S. and around the world.
While there are many underlying reasons why nursing home abuse occurs, many cases are caused by employees who are overburdened and stressed. This is because nursing homes continue to be understaffed, stretching employees thin.
Unfortunately for Illinois residents, the state ranks last for nursing home staffing levels. It should be no surprise that many Illinois nursing home abuse cases have been in the news lately.
To illustrate the disturbing trend, our team has compiled several accounts of recent Illinois nursing home abuse cases.
- In 2020, a male resident with dementia and other mental health problems choked to death on food he was not supposed to be eating. This incident proves that wrongful death cases in nursing homes are a tragic reality.
- In a recent Illinois nursing home neglect case, a female resident suffered a fall and broke her hip while waiting for help getting to the bathroom.
- In August 2020, a female resident’s leg had to be amputated due to a lack of diabetic care.
- Also in August 2020, a female resident developed a stage 4 bedsore since a less-severe sore went untreated.
- In December 2020, a male nurse in a southern Illinois nursing home was accused of sexually assaulting a male resident. This is an instance of alleged sexual elder abuse.
Get a free case review if you or a loved one has suffered from nursing home abuse in Illinois or another state. You may be able to pursue justice and compensation.
Illinois Nursing Homes Fail Residents & Loved Ones
There are many problems in Illinois nursing homes that increase the risks of abuse and neglect.
First, Illinois nursing homes often place three or four residents in a single room. Sadly, this overcrowding is just one of the factors that makes abuse more likely to happen.
Further, the Illinois Human Services and Mental Health & Addiction committees found heartbreaking stories of nursing home neglect, abuse, and preventable deaths due to infections through a series of hearings.
Additionally, recent studies found that roughly 6,000 Illinois nursing home residents who were hospitalized had sepsis. Tragically, 1 in 5 of these residents didn’t survive.
“This is an enormous public health problem for the United States. People don’t go to a nursing home so they can get sepsis and die. That is what is happening a lot.”
– Dr. Steven Simpson, University of Kansas professor of medicine
If this weren’t bad enough, Illinois also falls below the national average for properly treating bedsores. While 37% of the country’s nursing homes are considered deficient in bedsore care, 70% of Illinois nursing homes fell short.
What Causes Nursing Home Abuse in Illinois?
Some of the main causes for nursing home abuse and neglect in Illinois are understaffing and corporate greed.
Understaffing in Illinois Nursing Homes
According to government data, 78% of Illinois nursing homes fall below the national average for staffing. In fact, nurse and nurse aide staffing levels in Illinois nursing homes are some of the lowest in the country.
In mandatory quarterly reports, residents were found to have untreated bedsores, deadly infections, and frequent falls.
In one such report, an Illinois nurse complained that residents were falling more because there weren’t enough staff to answer their calls for help. The nurse noted resident call lights went off for hours.
One female resident also reported that she missed dialysis treatment due to understaffing because there was no one to help her get out of bed.
“I have only had three showers since I was admitted in December and I do not think my hair has been washed for a couple of months.”
– Illinois nursing home resident
Greed During Pandemic Leads to Illinois Nursing Home Abuse Cases
In even more disturbing allegations, Illinois nursing homeowners are believed to be profiting from pandemic relief funds while many residents suffer.
The federal government and the state of Illinois sent a combined $240 million to nursing homes to address staffing issues. This massive total doesn’t even include federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funds.
Even with all of the extra financial support, nursing homes:
- Failed to be transparent on how public funds were being used
- Failed to improve staffing levels
- Failed to reduce overcrowding
- Inadequately regulated the use of psychotropic drugs
In fact, a senior advocacy group discovered that Illinois is second in the nation for giving powerful drugs to residents without mental health problems to keep them more manageable.
Despite these failures, nursing homeowners are profiting through:
- Labor violations
- Medicare fraud
- Widespread patient care failures
Some nursing home abuse lawyers believe Illinois assisted living facilities are trying to shirk responsibility by creating complex corporations that shield or limit their liability.
Get Help for Nursing Home Abuse In Illinois
Illinois nursing home lawyers have filed over 1,400 cases since 2010 in just the Cook County court system alone. Sadly, many of these Illinois nursing home abuse cases are known to have similarities.
Many nursing home abuse cases involve:
- Multiple stressful trips to the hospital which stem from abuse or negligence
- Poor bedsore prevention and treatment
- Preventable infections causing life-threatening complications
- Wrongful death lawsuits due to sepsis
If an older person you love suffered from nursing home abuse or neglect in Illinois, don’t wait to take action. It is urgent to get your loved one to safety as soon as possible.
Our team may be able to help you right now. Get a free case review to see if you can work with a nursing home abuse lawyer.