Nursing home residents are some of the most vulnerable members of our community. After all, the vast majority of residents and their families make the choice to move the senior into the facility specifically because they need very close care to get by each day. Medical frailty breeds dependence. Unfortunately, dependence on others means that seniors are easily taken advantage of when those charged with their care do not act reasonably.
Each Illinois nursing home abuse lawyer at our firm appreciate that in addition to all of this, many residents have mental challenges that are often coupled with communication concerns. That means that they often do not even know when they are being abused or have the ability to tell others when they are in pain. Nursing home staff members must be aware of these unique challenges and take steps to ensure those in their care are not suffering unnecessarily. Failure in this regard is usually a clear breach of statutory safeguards and the law requires they be held accountable.
For example, according to allegations made in a new nursing home neglect lawsuit discussed in the Johnson City Press this weekend, one resident had a leg broken in a fall. Then, because of negligent staff conduct, the man was forced to endure the broken bone for nearly a week before it was discovered and he received proper treatment.
According to the complaint filed in the case, in late November of 2010 the man suffered a fall at the facility. As blog readers know, nursing home falls are one of the most common ways that residents are injured. On many occasions those falls could have been prevented had the facility staff members followed basic protocol. In this case, the man apparently suffered a broken leg bone as a result of the fall. An X-ray was taken after the fall, but no one read the X-ray for nearly a week. It was only when his visiting daughter at the home noticed that her father was in pain that the X-ray was actually read. He had been forced to go on with a broken leg for that entire time without treatment.
The nursing home lawsuit calls out the facility and its staff members for their failure to ensure there was a timely diagnosis, failure to recognize that the man was in pain, and failure to provide timely medical treatment. The suit explains that since the accident and lack of treatment the man has suffered significant pain, permanent injury, had substantial medical bills, and his future quality of life has been impaired.
The Chicago nursing home neglect lawyers at our firm are aware that this is the second lawsuit in a year against this very same facility. In January another suit was filed by the family of a former resident. According to claims made in the complaint in that second suit, the facility staff members did not notify the family of the resident of his deteriorating health until a few days before his death. As these two complaints alleging misconduct suggest, poor nursing home care is a chronic problem at some of the worst performing facilities. It is important for these homes to be called out on their actions and forced to improve.
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