Changing demographics mean that there will be steady increases in the number of seniors needing long-term care in the future. Our Chicago nursing home neglect attorneys appreciate that not only will these changes result in a spike in the total number of senior citizens, but it comes with an increase in the percentage of the total population that are elderly. The percentage change means that resources to provide for senior care may become increasingly tight, making it even more important than safeguards are in place to ensure that seniors are treated to a reasonable level of care.
Without those safeguards in place-of which nursing home neglect lawsuits play a role-there will undoubtedly be an increase in community members who take advantage of the increased need for senior care to make money while providing substandard treatment to those who rely on them. Each Illinois nursing home neglect attorney at our firm appreciates that this is already occurring.
For example the FBI recently released information on a conviction in a new Atlanta case where a man apparently billed Medicare and Medicaid for millions of dollars in services for care at what was described as a “horrendous” nursing homes.
According to the FBI, the criminal defendant in this case was convicted of billing public coffers for more than $32 million for services run at three nursing homes over a three year period. While the facilities were nursing homes in name, officials explain that they were nothing more than mass housing facilities where residents suffered from chronic mistreatment. According to the prosecutors, the nursing homes were so deficient in providing housing, medical care, proper nutrition, and other services that the services for which the public paid million was deemed virtually “worthless.”
One government attorney summarized the tragic situation by remaking that “It almost defies the imagination to believe that someone would use millions of dollars in Medicare and Medicaid money to buy real estate for hotels and a house while his elderly and defenseless nursing home resident went hungry and lived in filth and mold.”
Sadly, these slum-lord versions of long-term care facilities are not the aberrations that they should be. Seeking to capitalize on the growing need for long-term care, more and more dodgy individuals are willing to collect public money while spending as little as possible on the actual care that the money is supposed to purchase. As the FBI report noted when discussing this latest case, the level of greed and lack of compassion evident in these situations almost defies belief.
Each Chicago nursing home abuse lawyer at our firm is proud to play a role in fighting back against those who take advantage of elderly seniors. There is no excuse for failing to provide decent care at these establishments. The law is clear when is lays out the basic requirements of reasonable care to which all nursing home residents are entitled. Accountability must be had every single time that level of care is not provided. With more seniors soon-to-be at the mercy of caregivers at these facilities, the need for community members to act at watchdogs will become even more important.
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