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Winnebago County nursing home abuse and neglect attorney

Making the decision to place your loved one in a nursing home can be a difficult, but necessary, conclusion that many children will come to as their parents advance in age. Maybe you do not have space to house your elderly parents or perhaps their conditions require medical attention around the clock. Regardless of the reasons behind the action, you are entrusting your loved one’s well-being in the hands of someone else. The staff at nursing homes are trained professionals and should be well-equipped to handle any circumstances that may arise. Unfortunately, neglect and abuse are common occurrences behind nursing home doors. Without adequate attention, your elderly parent could see his or her future taking a quick turn for the worse as a result of life-threatening conditions, including sepsis.

What Is Sepsis?

This condition is caused by the body’s response to an infection and is potentially life-threatening if it is left untreated. Normally, your body releases chemicals as soon as infections begin to manifest. When these chemicals get out of balance, damage can occur to the body’s organ systems causing them to improperly function. This condition is known as sepsis. If left untreated, sepsis can quickly escalate to septic shock, causing blood pressure to dramatically drop to fatal levels. Although sepsis can occur to anyone who has an infection, elderly people are common targets for sepsis and have a more difficult time recovering from its impact.

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Rockford nursing home injury attorneysIt is hard to believe that anyone could be so cruel as to abuse a sick or elderly person in a nursing home, but it does happen. Research shows that about one out of every ten U.S. adults over age 60 have experienced elder abuse. Nursing home abuse, as well as nursing home neglect, is tragically common in the United States. Many nursing home residents suffer from mental and physical illnesses that make it difficult to express when they are being mistreated or abused. Some residents may even keep abuse a secret because they are afraid that they will be retaliated against for reporting the abuse. If you have a loved one in a nursing home or other long-term care facility, be vigilant for signs that they are being abused.

Physical Signs of Abuse

Sometimes, telling the difference between an injury caused by accident and an injury caused by a nursing home staff member can be difficult. Signs of physical abuse can include bruises, cuts, scrapes, pressure marks, broken bones, dislocations, burns, and more. When nursing home staff cannot explain why a resident has an injury such as these, this is a red flag that something is not right.

Tragically, nursing home residents can also suffer from sexual abuse. An individual who has been sexually abused by have problems walking or sitting, develop a sexually transmitted infection, have bruising on the genitals or thighs, urinary tract infections, and pain. Recently, a horrific incidence of nursing home sexual abuse made headlines after a woman in a vegetative state gave birth to a child.  A nurse working at the facility has been arrested and charged with sexually assaulting the woman and causing her to become pregnant.

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Winnebago County personal injury attorneysThe House Veterans Affairs Committee has begun an intensive investigation into the quality of care at 133 Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) nursing homes after it was revealed that the VA itself ranks most of its facilities as seriously lacking. The agency’s internal rankings of its nursing homes had been kept secret for years, but they are now available for the public to view. The data is grim. Almost half of all VA nursing homes have been assigned the lowest possible score with regards to cleanliness, safety, and quality of patient care.

VA Facilities at Greater Risk for Pain and Medical Complications

Tragically, studies show that care for American war veterans is shockingly insufficient. An investigation headed by USA Today and The Boston Globe found that 60 VA nursing homes were given a score of one star out of five. In over two-thirds of VA nursing homes, patients were found to have higher rates of pain and a higher incidence of bedsores than nursing homes in the private sector. Residents in VA nursing homes show a greater decline in their quality of life than nursing home residents in private facilities.

Illinois nursing homes did not fare particularly well on quality-of-care rankings. The facility in Danville, IL, scored one out of five stars in part due to a resident who had a catheter left in their bladder. The lowest possible score for nursing home quality is one star. Other two-star nursing home facilities had high rates of bedsores and residents slipping and falling. The best-rated home in Illinois was in North Chicago and earned three stars out of five.

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