The duty owed to local residents by their caregivers at long-term care by their caregivers to prevent Illinois nursing home neglect is a more comprehensive one than many might at first believe. The proper treatment includes basic medical tasks, ensuring seniors do not accidentally hurt themselves, and even involves protecting seniors from potential harm from other residents. The resident-on-resident harm that continues to affect individuals throughout our area is an often overlooked problem that needs more attention. Allowing vulnerable residents to be hurt by other residents without taking preventative measures is a form of Illinois nursing home abuse that needs to be rooted out.
Tragically, deaths can result from this form of violence. For example, this weekend the Chicago Tribune reported on the death of a 30-year old disabled man who was killed after a fight with his roommate last month at a group home. The victim passed away after suffering chest compression injuries following the assault. The official cause of death was ruled a homicide from compressional asphyxia-the restriction of air flow to the lungs through the restriction of chest movement.
Bolingbroook Police had been called to the home for mentally disabled adults the week before. Apparently the victim and his roommate had been in a fight and was the victim of a battery. Authorities have yet to reveal specifically how the injuries were accrued in the scuffle, but the victim was seemingly in critical condition when emergency responders arrived. He was initially taken to a local hospital and then transferred to a facility in Chicago.
This tragedy is reminder of the perilous situation of many vulnerable residents-both seniors and those with mental disabilities-and the need for their caregivers to protect them from all reasonable dangers. Our Illinois nursing home neglect lawyers know that far too often there are warning signs ahead of time and steps that should have been taken to prevent violent resident-on-resident outbursts. The consequences of these attacks can clearly be deadly. Nursing home caregivers must be cognizant of the social disputes and potential violent tendencies of those in its homes. If one resident is deemed capable of harming another or if a personal disagreement seems to have gotten out of hand, steps must be taken to minimize potential harmful outbursts.
Tragically, any local nursing home attorney with experience in this area likely knows that these facilities are often unwilling to admit their mistakes following these accidents. It unfortunately often takes serious investigations and forced release of information before the truth about the events leading up to these attacks are understood and accountability is had. The legal process is one of the only tools that most family members of these victims have to force the facility to share certain information about the attack and to demand changes be made to spare future victims. By filing a lawsuit seeking redress, the victim’s loved one in these cases is often able to force the administrative powers-that-be to listen to their concerns and provide answers. In an ideal world these suits would not be necessary and these attacks would not occur. However, we are not yet at that point and, until then, victims should not be afraid of taking advantage of their legal rights.
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