Nursing Home Abuse Uncovered By Advocacy Group

The Oakland Press reported yesterday on new allegations of nursing home abuse and neglect affecting disabled residents. The state’s Protection & Advocacy service uncovered a string of abuse at area nursing homes, with two severe cases highlighted. Following the discoveries, the organization has made specific recommendations to involved state agencies to prevent future mistreatment at all of these long-term care facilities.

Both newly discovered cases involved female nursing home residents whose bodies became infested with maggots because of the inadequate care they received by their nursing home providers. It does not take a special advocate to come to the conclusion that if one is paid to provide care to a senior or otherwise disabled individual that it is negligent to prevent maggots from living on wounds on the disable residents’ bodies. In one case, the insects were found living in the woman’s trachea. The infestation required hospitalization, and it is unclear what the long-term ramifications will be, though she is expected to survive. In the second case, the nursing home victim was found with maggots in her catheter while living at the facility. When the problem was uncovered, she was rushed to the hospital as well. Fortunately, she is also expected to survive.

The nursing home neglect did not go without minimal recourse from state officials. One of the negligent facilities was fined $34,000 while the other received a $17,600 fine. The facility also said that there will be increased monitoring and make some personnel changes. While some sanction is better than none, the total punishment faced by the facility is often insufficient to make the facility enact the sweeping changes likely necessary to prevent these horrific cases of neglect. Of course, these fines do nothing to provide any recourse for the harm caused to the victims because of the mistreatment. Advocates are pushing for changes to be made that would require background checks on employees and to require those who observe mistreatment and neglect to report it.

Unfortunately, these two cases of abuse are just the tip of the iceberg. The agency involved explained that there are many other cases of abuse that have been cited in the hundreds of facilities across the state. One spokesman reported that “examples of abuse and neglect range from maggot infestations and dangerous errors in medicine dosing to choking, restraining, burning, and death.” Officials also report that the total number of mistreatment is likely much higher than many suspect, because more cases than not go unreported.

The Illinois nursing home neglect lawyers at Levin & Perconti are open to all those who suspect a loved one has been mistreated at a local facility. There is no excuse for failing to ensure the basic safety and well-being of seniors and disabled residents at these facilities. Yet, time and again this vulnerable community is mistreated, causing immense harm. When not reported or challenged, the abuse is allowed to perpetuate. Please take the time to visit with a legal professional to ensure that your loved one’s rights are protected and the facility is forced to changed their protocols and prevent future cases of nursing home neglect.

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