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Springfield, IL nursing home injury lawyerAs people all over the state of Illinois grow older, it is not uncommon for family members to invest significant time in finding a proper nursing home or facility to care for their loved ones. Despite the best efforts of caring family members, nursing home abuse and neglect remains incredibly common and occurs even in some of the highest-rated homes.

Many negligent nursing homes will try to pass off injuries as being the result of a resident’s own carelessness, and families can frequently be confused about what options they have to make sure their loved ones remain safe. If you are concerned about your loved one’s safety in their nursing home, turn to an experienced Champaign nursing home negligence lawyer for help investigating the circumstances surrounding injuries and ensuring a negligent party is held accountable.

Signs of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect

When your loved one is in a nursing home, you may be wondering exactly what might be indicative that they are being abused or neglected. Some of the most common signs of nursing home abuse and neglect include, but are not limited to:


Bloomington nursing home abuse lawyerMany families rely on nursing homes to ensure that their elderly loved ones are cared for. A nursing home or assisted living facility is meant to be a safe, healthy, supportive environment where a person can live comfortably, enjoy their time around others, and receive the proper medical and personal care. Unfortunately, nursing home abuse and neglect is a reality in many facilities across the country. Families need to be aware of the different types of abuse that can occur, and those who are concerned that their loved ones have been the victims of abuse can work with a personal injury attorney to determine their legal options.

Forms of Abuse That Can Affect Nursing Home Residents

There are many different types of nursing home abuse, but the actions that can cause harm to residents will often fall into the following categories:

  • Physical abuse - This type of nursing home abuse can involve any type of physical force being used against a nursing home resident that results in pain or injury. Hitting, slapping, kicking, shoving, and using excessive force when moving a person are all examples of physical abuse. Staff members may also physically restrain patients or use other methods of control, such as administering medications to keep a person sedated.


springfield workers compensation lawyerThere are many forms of nursing home negligence that can cause serious harm to residents. The possibility of nursing home abuse is a major concern for many families who have loved ones in these facilities. Improper restraints are one form of abuse that may be committed by a nursing home’s staff, and this includes the use of drugs to sedate patients or prevent behaviors that staff members consider to be troublesome. Chemical restraints are used far more frequently than many people realize. Family members should be aware of the potential situations in which this type of abuse may occur and their options for addressing this issue.

Schizophrenia Diagnoses and Antipsychotic Drugs

Nursing home residents may receive a variety of different types of drugs to treat their medical conditions. However, these drugs should be used to meet a patient’s medical needs rather than to serve the interests of a nursing home or its staff members. Unfortunately, some nursing homes use antipsychotic drugs or other types of medications as sedatives for residents with dementia in an effort to make these patients easier to manage.

To prevent the improper use of these types of medications, the federal government requires nursing homes to report on the number of patients who are prescribed antipsychotic drugs. However, the law makes an exception for patients who have been diagnosed with schizophrenia. This has resulted in a 70 percent increase in the number of schizophrenia diagnoses in nursing homes since 2012. Even though around 0.7 percent of the population are affected by schizophrenia, one out of every nine nursing home residents in the United States have been diagnosed with this condition, and around 21 percent of nursing home patients have been prescribed antipsychotic medications.


Springfield personal injury attorney nursing home abuse

Many elderly Americans need help with their daily activities. While some families are able to provide care for their loved ones, in many cases, nursing homes provide the best option, ensuring that a person will have a place to live and spend time with other people while having their needs attended to by trained staff members. Unfortunately, many elderly patients are victims of nursing home abuse. In some cases, residents will suffer abuse because of inadequate staff training or supervision, while in other situations, a member of a nursing home’s staff may be the perpetrator of physical, verbal, sexual, or financial abuse. Family members should be aware of the warning signs that may indicate that their loved one has experienced abuse.

Potential Signs That a Nursing Home Resident Is Suffering Abuse

Recognizing the signs of nursing home abuse can sometimes be difficult, especially if a patient suffers from dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, or other conditions that may prevent them from telling others about what is happening to them. In some cases, residents may be afraid to discuss these issues out of fear that they will suffer further harm. Family members will want to watch for the following warning signs that may indicate that abuse is occurring:



Nursing home residents have the same rights as any other patient at a medical facility. They are also afforded specific rights under the Illinois Nursing Home Care Act as well as other state and federal legislation. Residents have the right to wear their own clothes and use their own personal property, enjoy a reasonable level of privacy, practice their chosen religion, and much more. Sadly, one of the most important rights afforded to nursing home residents is also one of the most commonly violated. Although nursing home residents have a legal right to be free of unnecessary restraints, overuse of physical and chemical restraints persists throughout Illinois and the United States.

What Is a Restraint?
Restraints are anything used to limit a resident’s movement or independence. Physical restraints include items like arm and leg restraints, ties, vests, and hand mitts. Everyday items can also be used as restraints. For example, bed sheets may be tucked in tightly in order to keep a resident from getting out of bed. Wheelchair wheel locks may be used to stop a resident from moving about the facility. Chemical restraints are substances used to sedate a resident. Medications such as antipsychotic drugs and benzodiazepines are sometimes administered to nursing home residents “off label” to keep them calm.

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