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october long-term care residents month

October Reminds Us That “Connection Matters” for Illinois Nursing Homes Residents

Every day, Illinois families bring their loved ones to nursing homes all around the state, some feeling certain and others uncertain that they will receive the high-quality care and comfort needed and their rights protected. Unfortunately, willful neglect, preventable accidents and illnesses, and abuse occur even in the most highly-rated facilities. October is a time to remind families and residents of the many rights designed to protect them from these situations.

Residents’ Rights Month is an annual event held in October by the National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care (Consumer Voice) to celebrate and focus on awareness of dignity, respect, and long-term care residents’ value. This year’s theme is “Connection Matters.” The theme emphasizes connections – to family, friends, and the community – as essential components of good health and residents’ quality of life.

The National Consumer Voice for Quality Long Term Care Invites You to Share #LoveFromADistance

With new directives placing strict limits on visitors to nursing homes and many assisted living facilities taking similar precautions, friends and families of residents living in long-term care facilities are using creative ways to stay in touch with their loved ones.

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Levin & Perconti Partner Michael Bonamarte Shares Highland Park Connection with Pioneer Press

Although Levin & Perconti partner Michael Bonamarte IV calls Winnetka home for his family including wife Julia and young daughter, the accomplished attorney is proud of his Highland Park roots with a strong family history in public service. Michael recently talked to the Pioneer Press, a division of Tribune Publishing which runs 32 local newspapers in the Chicago area, about his career and family. The weekly feature called Shout Out is a short Q & A session aimed to connect suburban Chicago readers to their fellow community members and local visitors. Here is an extended recap of his conversation with reporter Daniel Dorfman.

Q: What are your favorite memories of growing up in Highland Park?

Steve Levin

Legislation Banning Arbitration in Nursing Homes Protects Residents’ Access to Justice

by Steven M. Levin, as published in the Chicago Tribune

Every day, families nationwide face the difficult task of finding a suitable long-term care facility for their aging loved ones. This decision is often made in the middle of a crisis, and people feel pressured to get through the admissions process quickly to secure a spot for their elderly relative.

dementia patients

Dementia Residents Are Easy Targets for Nursing Home Abusers and Bullies

For nursing home residents with dementia, a form of Alzheimer’s, daily care is largely dependent on others. Nursing home workers of many types assist these patients in managing daily living activities such as bathing, dressing, and eating, exercising, managing their medications, and even overseeing finances. Dementia patients require extra attention and guided support as they are naturally prone to higher personal injury rates, infection, and falls but also more likely to become a victim of abuse and neglect, have their privacy violated and also be bullied by both nursing home workers and other residents. All residents, no matter what their situation, have the right to privacy, dignity, respect, and freedom. They should be treated with consideration and be free from all types of mental and physical abuse.

It’s important to remember that nursing homes must meet these federal residents’ rights requirements to continue participation in Medicare or Medicaid. If not, they must be held accountable.

quarterly violator report

Illinois Nursing Homes Named in Second Quarter Violators Report By IDPH

The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) has released its second Quarterly Report of Nursing Home Violators for 2019. This report dates April 2019 thru June 2019 and highlights 113 Illinois facilities cited for violations of the Nursing Home Care Act, a statute that provides nursing home residents and their families with the assurance that proper and safe care will be received.

Facilities with violations in quarter two of 2019 include:

nursing home abuse and neglect attorneys

Two partners talk about going from student to teacher

This piece was originally published in the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin on August 1, 2019.

By Margaret Battersby Black and Michael F. Bonamarte IV

nursing home neglect

Falls Remain Leading Cause of Injury-Related Deaths for Older Adults and Understaffed Nursing Homes Could Be to Blame

Falls are the leading cause of injury-related deaths among persons aged 65 years and older, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the age-adjusted rate of deaths from falls is increasing as well. Ironically, as many as 75 percent of nursing facility residents are reported falling each year and carry twice the chances of falling compared to a senior who lives in their own home or community.

For elderly patients living in care facilities, hazards that contribute to fall injuries can include:

candida auris

Dangerous Fungus Infection Takes Life of Northwestern Memorial Patient

A suburban Chicago woman receiving treatment at Northwestern Memorial for Lupus related issues has died from the drug-resistant Candida auris fungus. The most recent outbreak of the super fungus is responsible for the 158 known cases across Illinois since 2016. The family of the patient believe she became infected through a standard intravenous procedure during an intensive care stay. Once a routine blood test detected the infection, the woman was not able to move forward with her Lupus treatments, triggering the fatal outcome.

The family was not aware that Candida auris had also infected other patients at Northwestern during this time and they have since spoken out. Although the medical staff was very supportive, they stated that perhaps if knowledge of the dangerous fungus risk factors had been present through better transparency between the hospital and family members, additional prevention measures could have been taken to prevent her untimely death.

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Readers Choose Levin & Perconti for “Best Legal Blog”

With a very special thank you to all of our blog readers and those within our online sharing communities, we are excited to announce that Levin & Perconti’s Illinois Nursing Home Abuse Blog has won 1st place in the Medical Malpractice and Personal Injury category by The Expert Institute’s 2018 Best Legal Blog Contest, one of the largest blog competitions of its kind. Levin & Perconti’s Medical Malpractice blog was also a 1st place winner in 2017 making this a consecutive winning year for our online content to shine amongst the best. In 2019, we look forward to providing additional legal suggestions and will continue to build a resource of newsworthy information about the struggles of long-term care communities right here in Illinois but also across the U.S.

The Illinois Nursing Home Abuse Blog has helped many nursing home abuse and neglect victims, as well as their family members and even facility care staff, navigate through a confusing system of legalities. Some of our most shared posts also include a synopsis of successful litigation journeys for our clients, including:

Lawyer Monthly - Legal Awards Winner
The National Trial Lawyers
Elder Care Matters Alliance
American Association for Justice
Fellow Litigation Counsel of America
Super Lawyers
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