How common is abuse in Illinois nursing homes?
Nursing Home Abuse - July 18, 2023
Elder abuse in Illinois is running rampant. In fact, according to the Health and Human Services Inspector General’s Office, there are more than 1.2 million people across the U.S. living in nursing homes, and as many as one in four are dealing with sexual, physical, emotional, or financial abuse or neglect.
Thankfully, elderly abuse laws in Illinois make it possible for injury victims in our state to hold their abusers accountable and recover financial compensation for their losses and trauma. With help from a Chicago nursing home abuse attorney, you can ensure those responsible for harming your loved one pay the penalty for elder abuse in Illinois.
Illinois nursing home abuse and neglect stats
The Health and Human Services Inspector General’s Office released alarming stats regarding Illinois nursing home abuse and neglect cases. Some of the most notable stats include:
- Only 130 incidents of nursing home abuse or neglect were reported over a two-year period. That required hospital ER visits
- Illinois had the greatest number of nursing home neglect and abuse incidents, with 17
- In 28% of the cases, there were no hospital records or other evidence indicating that nursing home abuse was reported to local law-enforcement officials
- Four out of five nursing home abuse cases in Illinois involve suspected sexual abuse or rape
Unfortunately, despite the fact that federal laws are in place that requires nursing homes to report instances of abuse or neglect, it continues to be one of the most underreported types of abuse.
For this reason, family members of those residing in nursing home facilities and assisted living environments may need to be acutely aware of the signs so they can help protect their family members and take action against abusers and other liable parties when they suspect nursing home abuse or neglect.
Elder abuse laws in Illinois
According to the Illinois Adult Protective Services Act, specific professionals are required to report instances of nursing home abuse and neglect. These mandated reporters include individuals working in the following industries:
- Social services
- Social work
- Police and law enforcement officials
- Adult care, including nursing homes and assisted living facilities
Penalty for elder abuse in Illinois
Under the Abused and Neglected Long Term Care Facility Residents Reporting Act, it is a Class A misdemeanor when nursing home facilities and other mandated reporters fail to report nursing home neglect and abuse.
The penalties of a conviction may include the following:
- Mandatory court assessments
- Fines not to exceed $2,500
- A maximum of 364 days in an Illinois county jail
- Court supervision
- Suspension or revocation of professional licenses
In addition to these criminal penalties, you may also be able to take legal action against the nursing home, the abuser, and other at-fault parties in civil court. When you are ready to demand justice and take matters into your own hands, moving forward with a nursing home abuse lawsuit may be the best way to ensure those responsible are held accountable to the fullest extent of the law.
What to do if you suspect nursing home abuse
It may surprise you to learn that nursing home facilities are required to report incidents of suspected nursing home abuse or neglect within 24 hours or as few as two hours if the victim suffers severe bodily injury. However, since we know nursing home facilities are not reporting these events as often as they should, it is important to take action as soon as possible if you suspect nursing home neglect or abuse.
You should be prepared to report your concerns to the appropriate authorities. However, before you do so, it may be in your best interests to retain the legal representation of a reputable nursing home abuse attorney. This way, you can start creating a paper trail of evidence and documentation that can be used against nursing home abusers and others who may have facilitated the abuse.
Make sure you get your family member to safety as soon as possible. If you believe your loved one is in immediate jeopardy, remove them from the nursing home facility as soon as possible and get a medical evaluation. This way, you can gather valuable medical records that can be used to prove your suspicions of nursing home abuse or neglect.
How to report elderly abuse in Illinois
Report your suspicions regarding elderly abuse in Illinois to:
- Illinois Department of Public Health
- Your local police department
- The Illinois State Police
- Illinois Adult Protective Services (Illinois Department on Aging)
Get help from a compassionate and experienced nursing home abuse lawyer
If you suspect your loved one is being abused or neglected in their assisted living facility or nursing home environment, you must take action to protect them. Do not risk their safety and well-being for another moment.
Connect with a trusted Chicago nursing home abuse attorney from Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates to learn more about your next steps. Schedule your free, no-obligation consultation when you complete our convenient contact form or call our office at (800) 985-1819 to get started as soon as today.