Elder abuse may be prevalent in Illinois nursing homes

Family members usually do their best to take care of and provide for their elderly loved ones. However, there can be a stage in life when the elderly person is not be able to take care of themselves and may have to be admitted into a nursing home. The family should be confident that their loved ones are safe in the nursing home with professionals to care for their needs. However, this is often not the case, as can be seen in a recent event when a nursing home staff member from Illinois was arrested after allegedly hitting a disabled resident.

According to officers, the 27-year-old nursing home staff member hit a disabled resident in the face, causing injuries to the resident’s head. The disabled resident was subsequently treated in a hospital and released. The nursing home worker was arrested and charged with aggravated battery to a disabled person. The Illinois Department of Public Health and Quincy Police Department are investigating the incident.

This incident highlights the condition of the elderly who are at mercy of the nursing home staff for their basic requirements. These people may not be able to complain about any ill treatment and such cases may go unreported for a long time. Sometimes, the incident may only come to light when the elder is admitted to emergency room or dies due to elder abuse. However, during a visit, sometimes family members may notice signs of physical or mental abuse to the loved one. The loved one may have physical injuries, bed sores or signs of malnutrition. The health condition of the loved one may even deteriorate due to wrong medication or inadequate care.

When family members suspect that a nursing home is not taking care of their elderly family member, they may take action under Illinois elder abuse laws. Elders are protected by federal and state laws from abuse, neglect and mistreatment in a nursing home facility. Knowledge of the correct procedure and laws, along with evidence, may help family members prove that their loved one was abused in the nursing home.

Source: 7KHQA, “Quincy nursing home staff member behind bars,” July 2, 2014