Unfortunately, studies show that nursing home residents experience depression at astronomical rates that are well above the average for seniors living in other environments. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that nursing home residents suffer from depression at more than twice the rate (49 percent) of elderly individuals under hospice care (22 percent) and in residential care communities (22 percent). In many cases, this depression is the direct result of emotional and verbal abuse – including belittling.
Sadly, depression is just one of the many consequences suffered by victims of belittling in nursing homes. No one deserves to be belittled, and if your loved one is experiencing this wrongful treatment in a nursing home, they deserve better. At Malman Law, we fight on behalf of nursing home residents in Chicago and throughout Illinois who need help standing up for their legal rights.
Nursing home residents rely on their caretakers to provide a comfortable, safe, and compassionate place to call home.
It can be difficult to know for certain that your loved one is being belittled unless you catch a staff member in the act. However, there are several signs which – along with the symptoms discussed below – can point to emotional or verbal abuse and give you sufficient grounds to file a claim against a nursing home. Conditions that are often indicative of abusive and substandard care include:
Each of these may be indicative of a broader issue – a culture of resident mistreatment and a living environment unfitting for anyone, much less an elderly, paying customer in need of help. In these situations, it has been shown that residents often experience belittling either in the form of outright verbal abuse or demeaning, inadequate, and inappropriate care.
Belittling often leads to a number of symptoms consistent with those caused by other forms of emotional and verbal abuse. These symptoms include:
Malman Law is a Chicago, IL law firm that represents victims of nursing home negligence and abuse throughout Illinois. Our attorneys have decades of experience providing thorough, knowledgeable, and compassionate representation for nursing home residents and their families. We also have a nurse on staff who has more than 30 years of experience working in various nursing homes throughout the Chicagoland area.
Over the lasts 21 years, we have helped our clients recover millions of dollars in compensation for negligent and abusive treatment. If your elderly loved one is a victim of belittling, we can make sure that your family receives the care and compensation it deserves.
Residents of facilities that participate in the Medicare program enjoy the following federal rights:
Most of these rights also apply under state law, even for nursing homes that do not participate in the Medicare program.
Yes, you can, because human rights don’t need contractual support. If you were hit by a car, for example, you wouldn’t have to prove that you had a contract with the driver not to hit you in order to win a lawsuit against him or her – you could sue under general tort law principles, just as you can in cases of abuse and neglect in a nursing facility.
The Illinois Nursing Home Care Act defines the rights under state law that your loved one enjoys with or without a contractual arrangement with the nursing home. Federal regulations also apply if the institution participates in the Medicare program. Proving that the facility violated an applicable regulation will go a long way toward establishing their liability for compensatory damages. In cases of outrageous conduct, you might even be able to collect punitive damages against the nursing home. Of course, if there is a contract, a contract claim could be added to other claims arising from the abuse or neglect.
The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) is the state agency responsible for enforcing the law in favor of the more than 100,000 nursing home residents residing in over 1,200 facilities in Illinois. The IDPH licenses these facilities, conducts inspections at least annually, and cooperates with the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services for eligibility to participate in federal payment reimbursement programs.
The IDPH maintains a Nursing Home Hotline (800-252-4343) for complaints. Upon receiving a complaint of abuse or neglect, the IDPH’s Bureau of Long Term Care may launch an investigation. Although it does not participate in lawsuits, it can sanction or even close down homes that violate the Illinois Nursing Home Care Act or federal regulations. The results of its investigation can be used as evidence in a civil lawsuit against a home or an employee.