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covid-19 senate committee letter

Levin & Perconti’s Nursing Home Abuse & Neglect Attorneys Ask Lawmakers to Reject Immunity for Substandard COVID-19 Care

During these difficult times, it remains vital for patients and their families to understand that nursing home residents still have the right to proper care and providers should always be held accountable when that care goes badly wrong.

On May 11, Levin & Perconti attorneys joined more than a dozen advocate organizations made up of nursing-home residents’ lawyers, families, and elder care leaders, in requesting members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, including Chairman Graham and Ranking Member Feinstein, oppose granting a liability shield to nursing homes during the COVID-19 pandemic. To date, 18 states have issued some form of immunity from liability related to care provided during the crisis by long-term care facilities. By providing immunity, Congress is placing nursing home residents in jeopardy at a time when older Americans are suffering most from outbreaks. Here is a brief synopsis of this important letter.

The National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care (Consumer Voice) has long been the nation’s premier advocacy group for nursing home care. The group was founded in 1975 to represent the voice of the consumer at the national level advocating for needed improvement in the quality of service at long-term care facilities. The Consumer Voice seeks to advance public policy objectives, educate consumers with knowledge for personal advocacy, train those who support our nation’s seniors, and promote best practices for quality-care delivery.

The group recently announced the results of its 2010 Governing Board & Leadership Council elections. We are pleased to report that our own senior attorney, Steve Levin, was elected as one of the eleven new members of the organization’s Leadership Council.

This new group of leaders in the field of nursing home care was created as a result of a new governing structure established earlier this year to help move the group toward its next stage in development. The Leadership Council will work to provide advice on all issues related to the organization’s policy and program agenda.
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May 9-15 has been declared National Nursing Home Week by the American Health Care Association. This is an important week because every year thousands of nursing home residents become victims of elderly abuse and neglect. This week is a good week to reflect on what everyone can do to better protect these vulnerable residents. The Chicago nursing home lawyers of Levin & Perconti have handled nursing home cases since 1992. We believe that it is essential for people to understand the exact meaning of nursing home abuse and neglect and what can be done if they suspect their loved one is a victim.

There are many signs of nursing home abuse and neglect. They not only affect an elderly resident’s physical well-being but their mental and emotional spirit as well. Some signs to watch for with nursing home neglect include:

– Falls – Pressure ulcers – Malnutrition and/or dehydration – Over-medication – Cuts, bruises or broken bones – Poor hygiene – An unclean environment and/or smells – Weight loss – Changes in demeanor – Wandering or elopement – Medication errors

The Eldercare Workforce Alliance has declared June 23 national call-in day. In order to participate in this day call your representative and senators and remind them that a strong eldercare workforce is essential to real health reform. Call in order to combat the many older adults that do not receive the care they deserve because of an inadequately trained healthcare workforce. This may help combat elderly abuse here in Chicago, Illinois. To read more about the day, please visit the elder workforce alliance website.

The Civic Action Network is holding a community meeting for nursing home justice. The meeting will take place on Monday June 8, 2009 at the Bray Temple CME Church located at 1049 E. 73rd Street in Chicago, Illinois. The meeting will take place from 6:30-8:00 PM. The goal of this meeting is to address the growing disparities amongst the Alden Network nursing homes in Chicago. The Alden’s three homes on the South Side of Chicago provide half the staff time per nursing home resident as the nursing homes in the suburbs do. Additionally the nursing homes have faced elderly negligence lawsuits over 30 times for issues like medical malpractice. The recent wrongful death of an 84-year-old man in Chicago has prompted community organizers to discuss how this problem might be remedied. To learn more about the racial disparities in Chicago nursing homes, please visit the civic action network’s website.

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day falls on the fifteenth of June each year. This day serves as a call-to-action for individuals, organizations and communities to come together and raise awareness about elder abuse, neglect and exploitation. Activities such as developing an educational program or press conference or volunteering to call or visit an isolated senior who may be at risk of elder abuse, neglect or exploitation are ways to observe this day. Additionally another way to help elder abuse is to carry out an activity that aims to create awareness of elder mistreatment, such as submitting an editorial or press release to your local newspaper. The International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse has many suggestions for raising elder abuse awareness. Observations for elder abuse will occur all over the world, including here in Chicago, Illinois. To read more about the elder awareness day, please click the link.

On March 13, 2009, Steven Levin of Levin & Perconti will speak at the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys Illinois Chapter Meeting on Protecting the Rights of Elderly Clients in Personal Injury Matters. The presentation will take place at the law offices of D. Rebecca Mitchell in Chicago. Steve will discuss how elder law attorneys and personal injury lawyers can work together to assure that the rights of elderly clients are protected. This discussion will include how to recognize the need for a personal injury attorney, how to make referrals and work with the personal injury attorney.

For questions regarding this presentation, please click here. Registration is required for this event and space is limited to NAELA members only.

June 15th is World Elder Abuse Day, a day to increase awareness of issues related to the abuse, neglect, and exploitation of older individuals. The day was established in 2006 by the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse and consists of a variety of activities such as professional conferences and community outreach events. Awareness of issues such as nursing home abuse and neglect is critical to developing solutions to failures to monitor and regulate elder abuse. The International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse is designed “to recognize and respond to the mistreatment of older people in whatever setting it occurs, so that the latter years of life will be free from abuse, neglect and exploitation.”

For more information, click here:

Chicago nursing home attorneys Steven M. Levin and Michael F. Bonamarte will be featured speakers at the Andrews Nursing Home Litigation Conference this February in Sanibel Island, Florida.

Steven M. Levin, Founding Partner at Chicago-based Levin & Perconti is the Co-Chair and moderator of the conference. Michael F. Bonamarte, an Associate at Levin & Perconti will address the conference on the issue of Unavoidability.

The conference will begin Thursday February 28th and end Friday February 29th. This interactive conference is designed for both plaintiff and defense lawyers who litigate nursing home abuse and neglect cases.

The Elder Law Initiative and School of Social work present the Third Annual Summer Institute on Aging. The Summer Institute on Aging is a four-day, interdisciplinary course co-sponsored by the Loyola University Chicago School of Law and School of Social Work open to social workers, nurses, physicians, counselors, geriatric care managers, and attorneys. This highly interactive course will explore the psychosocial, ethical, policy, and legal issues related to aging and mental health, taking into account racial, gender, ethnic, and income differences among the elderly. The course will feature faculty and guest speakers from a variety of disciplines. Through simulations and group work, the course provides an excellent opportunity for true interdisciplinary collaboration. Continuing education credit available.

Click here for more information or contact Marcia Spira at 312.915.7580

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