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Chicago Nursing Home Abuse Lawsuit

In the state of Illinois, there is no cap on medical malpractice suits. This means that those who have experienced instances of elder abuse at the hands of a nursing home facility have been awarded large sums in payment for damages they suffered. Despite this fact, very few cases of abuse in Chicago nursing homes result in arrest.

Sexual Abuse Cases

In fact, over a three-year period from 2007 to 2010, there were 86 reported cases of sexual abuse against elderly patients in Chicago nursing homes. Of all of these investigations, only one of the alleged perpetrators was arrested.

These complaints came from around 25% of Chicago’s nursing homes during those years. While the state does require that nursing homes report any allegations of sexual abuse, no police reports were ever filed for many of these cases at all, and some were reported only months after the fact. Most of the cases involved other residents attacking elderly or disabled patients, and none of those cases went to trial. The one that did receive criminal charges was an orderly at a Chicago nursing home.

In one of these cases, a woman was admitted to a local hospital with bite marks, a broken nose, and other injuries after being attacked by a fellow patient. This case didn’t result in any charges.

Social Media Mockery

Not far from Chicago, two teenaged nursing home workers were arrested after videotaping themselves abusing an elderly patient in 2014.

The report stated that the video was released on a social media website, and that the 98-year-old resident was physically harmed during the taping, which the girls took after working in the facility for less than a year. Both were arrested and charged with criminal elder abuse.

These types of cases have also been seen in other states, where websites like Snapchat, that supposedly delete content after just a few moments, have been used to share video of abused elderly residents. Some videos showed residents in undressed states, while others showed Alzheimer’s patients being coached to say degrading things in states of confusion.

Granny Cams

In light of the sexual abuse cases and other instances of unreported abuse, Illinois Governor signed a law into effect in 2015 that allows residents of nursing homes to put cameras in their rooms. This measure is to help reduce the number of elder abuse cases seen in Chicago and other areas of the state.

This type of “granny cam” law has already been adopted by five other states, prompted by the lawsuits that have been brought against abusive nursing home practices over the last decade. So far, the bill only requires the allowance of cameras if the resident requests one, not at the request of families who want to protect elderly family members who suffer from dementia or mental illness.

There are some states, such as Utah, that allow family members to request the camera installation as well.

Elder Abuse and Neglect Law

The Illinois Elder Abuse and Neglect Act requires that only those individuals bound by the ethics of their careers report instances of suspected elder abuse at the hands of Chicago nursing homes. This includes people who work in social services, law enforcement, education, health care, state employees, coroners, emergency service personnel, or anyone who works in any capacity at a nursing home or assisted living facility.

These people must report any cases of elder abuse as defined by the laws of the state, which defines abuse as including physical, sexual, or emotional abuse; confinement; deprivation; neglect; and financial exploitation. The Elder Abuse Agency in the area, such as the Family Services center, can help facilitate the report and investigation.

Sources:

 

http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2014/03/14/teens-charged-with-videotaping-abuse-of-nursing-home-resident/

 

http://seniorhousingnews.com/2016/03/23/granny-cam-laws-target-assisted-living/

 

http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2010-01-26/health/ct-met-nursing-home-rape-20100126_1_rainbow-beach-care-center-faith-pavilion-state-records

 

http://www.illinois.gov/aging/ProtectionAdvocacy/Documents/ea-act_book.pdf

 

 

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