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Joliet nursing home negligence lawyerStatistics show that people are living longer these days. Today, there are more than 46 million adults aged 65 and older living in the United States. In 2034, the U.S. Census Bureau estimates that number to be 77.0 million. Based on these projections, the older generation will likely need assistance later in life. Many elderly people reach an age where it is not safe for them to drive a car or live on their own. The decision to put your family member in a nursing home or assisted-living facility can be challenging. Entrusting his or her health and safety with other people is a major step in the aging process. However, when management or personnel at nursing homes do not follow proper safety procedures, patients can be put at significant risk of injuries or life-threatening infections, such as sepsis, due to neglect or abuse

What Is Sepsis?

One of the leading causes of death in nursing homes is infection. Untreated infections can turn into sepsis, a dangerous condition that occurs when chemicals released into the bloodstream to fight an infection trigger inflammation throughout the body. This can cause a chain reaction that can lead to tissue damage and organ failure, in some cases resulting in death.

Signs and symptoms of sepsis include: 

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Joliet nursing home negligence lawyerMany people have family members who reside in nursing homes or similar long-term care facilities. The elderly make up a large population of those who live in assisted-living centers, but younger people who have certain medical conditions may also need the extra assistance that these facilities provide. In most cases, families entrust their loved one's safety with medical professionals. Unfortunately, reports of abuse or neglect at nursing homes are not uncommon in the United States, including in Illinois. It is important to be aware of signs and symptoms that indicate your relative may have suffered injuries at the hands of those who are supposed to protect him or her. In some instances, if a staff member or facility is found negligent, you or your loved one may be entitled to monetary compensation. 

Physical Injuries

Nursing homes and other care facilities have a standard of care they must follow when caring for their residents. Sadly, not every nursing home may take your family member’s well-being as seriously as you do. If nurses or other staff members fail to administer the proper amount of prescribed medication, a patient can overdose in some situations. In other cases, not receiving enough food can cause a resident to become severely ill. Inadequate building maintenance or neglecting to check on residents can lead to them slipping and hitting their heads or breaking their arm or leg. 

When care facilities fall below the acceptable standard of care, serious injuries can occur, including the following: 

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b2ap3_thumbnail_nursing-home-sad-man-outside.jpgStudies show that people are living longer these days compared to generations past. Nursing homes, memory care facilities, and assisted living centers are popping up in almost every city to meet the demand for an aging population. Many families carefully research what these extended-care homes can offer to their parents, grandparents, or other relatives. Whether someone needs assistance due to age, dementia, or any other kind of disability, there is a certain level of expectation that your family member will be well taken care of and in a safe place. Sadly, patients can be neglected and even abused on a regular basis. It is important to recognize the injuries that are commonly caused by nursing home negligence to prevent further harm to your loved one. In some cases, he or she might be entitled to compensation or damages for pain and suffering.     

Illinois Nursing Home Care Act

Illinois has more than 1,000 long-term care facilities serving over 100,000 residents, young and old. Since elderly people are particularly susceptible to neglect or abuse, Illinois passed the Nursing Home Care Act, which gives residents of nursing home facilities certain rights to protect them from danger or harm. Illinois nursing homes require specific licenses to operate and are  regulated and inspected by state and federal agencies, including the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH). In addition, under IDPH, the Division of Assisted Living manages all state licenses for assisted living and shared housing establishments.

Potentially Serious Problems 

Unfortunately, many cases of elderly abuse are simply not reported or they are ignored. Many residents of nursing homes or assisted living homes are not mobile; that is, they are confined to a wheelchair or even completely bed-ridden. Due to this vulnerability, negligence by the nursing staff can sometimes be dismissed, since a patient may be afraid to report an incident.  

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