The Illinois elder neglect lawyers at our firm have come to appreciate the struggle to raise awareness of the plight faced by many seniors. Unfortunately, elder abuse and neglect remains a somewhat hidden problem, as millions of seniors suffer in silence each day without anyone taking notice of their pain. In our area it is still a battle to spread the word about the resources available to family members of residents to combat mistreatment at nursing homes and in other senior care settings.
The unfortunate fact that most elder abuse flies under the radar makes it important to work every day to bring the problem to light. That is why it was particularly encouraging to learn about the awarding of a MacArthur Foundation “Genius Grant” to an elder abuse attorney and activist. The Foundation awards $500,000 to several individuals each year in a variety of professional, academic, and non-profit fields that are making a difference in the world. The purpose of this latest award was to help the activist attorney continue her work combating elder abuse in America. The MacArthur Foundation remains an important organization with much influence and prestige, and so it is encouraging that the group has honored one in this field.
The winner of the award explained how she is guided each day by new stories of tremendous hardship suffered by seniors. She recently recounted the story of one senior who was literally allowed to rot to death by her son. While her adult child lived off her pension, she was left alone in a room, unable to move and struggling with dementia. Pressure sores eventually developed which were so deep that they exposed bone. The woman cried out for help from anyone who could hear, but neighbors just closed their windows.
As a new article at the Center for a Just Society explained, the plight of elder abuse often gets overlooked and advocates struggle to find the resources necessary to combat the problem. The article’s author suggests that part of the problem may be cultural. Some might argue that there is an increasing obsession with youth and less connection with intergenerational family bonds. As a result, older family members often given less attention and observation, which allows neglect to go unnoticed.
The article notes that many facilities advertise themselves as selling caring and nurturing environments that help seniors have happy, productive golden years. However, far too often these homes are nothing more than profit centers where the bottom line matters more than actually providing appropriate care to these community members. When the culture of revenue takes hold a plethora of problems are usually seen by the residents at the facility-from pressure sores and falls to malnutrition and dehydration.
The Chicago nursing home abuse lawyers at Levin & Perconti are proud to have helped so many families in our area stand up against elder abuse. We remain committed to helping all those in our area take a stand against the mistreatment that abounds in some poor long-term care facilities. Please do not sit idly by while our seniors suffer. Give our office a call if you suspect abuse has hurt an elder loved one and see how we can help.
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