Your Holiday Nursing Home Visit Could Be Lifesaving
During the busy holiday season, an already understaffed nursing home care team becomes even more limited, leaving many needs of nursing home residents to go unmet. For the workers who are on staff, they become stressed and easily overwhelmed, creating a rise in the number of incidences of neglect and abuse of residents. This season, we encourage the family and friends of those residing in skilled nursing facilities to make it a priority to visit frequently and unexpectedly check-in on those responsible for providing care. Even a weekly call or stop during this time may be enough to ensure the quality in the services you expect for your mother, father, sister or grandparent is being met.
Unfortunately, even substandard care is sometimes coated, and dangerous abuse and neglect symptoms are hard first to recognize. During your visits, be sure to look for these troublesome signs of maltreatment provided by the Nursing Home Abuse Center. Be sure to report any findings or concerns you have immediately.
Warnings Signs of Nursing Home Abuse & Neglect
- Having unexplained broken bones, dislocations or sprains
- Bruising, scars or welts seen on the body
- Failing to take medications properly
- Signs of restraint, such as rope marks on the elder’s wrist
- Broken eyeglasses or hearing aids
- The refusal of the caregiver to let you be alone with the elderly person
- Unusual behavior in the elderly person that can resemble symptoms of dementia, including mumbling behaviors, sucking one’s thumb, or rocking behaviors.
- Witnessing belittling, controlling or threatening behavior on the part of the caregiver.
Levin & Perconti Emotional Abuse Case Example: Levin & Perconti is representing the family of a 91-year-old woman after two of her care aides, formerly employed by Abington of Glenview Nursing Home in Glenview, violated the Illinois Nursing Home Care Act and state privacy laws through abuse and the use of social media. The workers, Brayan Cortez and Jamie Montesa, were caught publishing a Snapchat video of themselves taunting Margaret Collins, an elderly resident with dementia. Snapchat is a multimedia app and popular social media channel used by over 180 million people every day. Each post made is called a “snap.” The video went public just days before the Christmas holiday in 2018 and showed Collins lying in bed and visibly upset from being taunted by employees throwing a hospital gown at her several times, a clothing item her family says Abington workers knew would make her distressed. The video, captioned with “Margaret hates gowns,” was decorated with two laughing face emojis. A former employee saw the video and shared it with the resident’s family.
- Unexplained STDs, pregnancy, other genital infections
- Bruising near the genitals or around the breasts
- Stained, bloody or torn underwear
- Vaginal or anal bleeding unrelated to a medical condition
- Leaving the elderly personal alone at risk of wandering or elopement
- Unsafe living conditions, such as a lack of heat, faulty electrical wiring, fire hazards or lack of running water
- Being unsuitably dressed for the weather
- Not bathing the person or leaving them dirty
- Living with soiled bed clothing, dirty clothes, bugs or dirty conditions
- The presence of bedsores from not turning the patient regularly
- Having an unusual loss of weight or dehydration
Levin & Perconti Caregiver Neglect Case Example: Levin & Perconti filed a lawsuit on Tuesday, October 29, 2019, on behalf of the family of Jaime Hernandez. Mr. Hernandez tragically bled to death at his west suburban nursing home after receiving a kidney transplant just one month earlier. Before his unexpected and preventable death, doctors were pleased with the man’s recovery and family members were excited for Mr. Hernandez’s future after waiting nearly seven years for his new kidney. According to the lawsuit, the staff at Berkshire Nursing & Rehab Center LLC at the Aperion Care facility located at 8200 Roosevelt Road in Forest Park failed to perform scheduled checks on Mr. Hernandez to prevent bleeding in the arm used for his dialysis treatments. The family is seeking monetary damages for 17 different care failures and negligence.
Identifying Financial Abuse in Nursing Homes
It is estimated that as many as 1 in 5 nursing home residents will be a victim of financial abuse. It is important to understand some of the common signs of this type of violation as well.
- Changes in financial status
- Unexplained withdrawals
- Missing money from purse, wallet or room
- Resident unable to make regular purchases
- Personal belongings that go missing
- Unauthorized names added to bank account
- Reluctance to discuss finances
- Request for additional funds
Levin & Perconti Financial Abuse Case Example: Grace Watanabe is a 98-year-old woman who had her life savings robbed of her by two former nursing home caregivers employed at Symphony Residences of Lincoln Park, located at 2437 N. Southport Avenue in Chicago. In November 2018, Cook County Public Guardian Charles Golbert, with the aid of Levin & Perconti attorneys Steven Levin and Mike Bonamarte, filed a civil lawsuit accusing the workers of stealing $750,000 from Watanabe while she was residing at Symphony of Lincoln Park from 2009 – 2018. It was her bank that flagged the suspicious account activity.
The warning signs of abuse and neglect should never go ignored. If you feel your family member or friend is a victim of nursing home abuse or neglect, please do not let it go unnoticed. Report it to nursing home officials, state regulatory bodies, and visit with a local nursing home abuse and neglect attorney to see what will be done to make it stop and the steps that need to be taken to hold those responsible – accountable.
Chicago Injury Lawyers and Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Attorneys
Consultations with Levin & Perconti are always free, confidential, and handled by one of our skilled attorneys experienced in winning cases related to nursing home abuse and neglect in Illinois. Click here to fill out an online request form or call us toll-free at 1-877-374-1417 or 312-332-2872.
Also read: 8 Questions For Your Next Nursing Home Visit