Illinois Nursing Home Guide Blog

Illinois lawyers for nursing home abuse

Nursing home abuse law set to go into effect July 1

Current law states if someone is abused in a nursing home, the victim has two years to file a lawsuit. The victim also has the option to file it in the county in which they reside or work. But that all changes July 1. A new law will go into effect cutting the time to file a lawsuit in half and forcing plaintiffs to only file in the county in which the nursing home is located.

Jeff Stewart, the managing attorney at Bell Law Firm in Charleston, says it favors nursing homes.

“It affects nursing homes in that it gives them an added layer of protection not generally afforded to other entities under the law,” he said.

Stewart believes the law could put pressure on victims to come forward quicker.

“These are sensitive cases. There are a lot of family dynamics involved often times there’s fear involved because people don’t want to speak up for fear of reprisal while their loved ones are still in the facility.”



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Illinois nursing home neglect cases

Nursing home workers posting vulgar photos of residents on Snapchat

In the last year alone, employees of at least 18 nursing homes and assisted living facilities have posted unauthorized — and in some cases, vulgar and stomach-turning — photos and videos of residents on Snapchat or other social media platforms, a ProPublica analysis has found.

While the problem isn’t new, the pace of reported incidents has certainly picked up — and it’s not clear why. It could be that there’s heightened vigilance among regulators and nursing homes, leading to more reports. Last August, federal health regulators said they would crack down on nursing home employees who take demeaning photographs and videos of residents and post them on social media. Another possibility is that the problem is actually getting worse as more and more people use social media apps on their cellphones.

The American Health Care Association, the nursing home industry trade group, said it continues to offer training across the country to educate home officials and employees about the importance of protecting patient privacy and avoiding social media abuses.

“Any case of abuse is appalling and deeply troubling,” Beth Martino, the group’s senior vice president for public affairs, wrote in an email. “Actions that jeopardize the privacy, dignity and safety of the elderly should be condemned and prosecuted to the fullest degree possible. Ensuring the safety and well-being of our residents is the number one priority for our members.”


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Illinois lawyers for nursing home neglect

Three nursing home aides indicted over patient abuse claims

Three certified nurse aides were indicted this month over claims they abused patients at residential care facilities across the state, authorities said.

Cairy Chrisphonte, 54, of Union, is accused of hitting an an 87-year-old dementia patient in the head and arm in front of coworkers at the Daughters of Miriam nursing home in Clifton. She faces charges of fourth-degree assault upon an institutionalized elderly person.

Danny Brown, 55, of Easton, Pa., was allegedly witnessed by coworkers punching a 53-year-man in a wheel chair and threatening to break his neck. Brown, who works at the Lopatcong Care Center, was indicted on third-degree charges of making terroristic threats and endangering another person.

Debra L. Matela, 44, of Turnersville, was allegedly caught on a surveillance camera kicking a wheelchair out from under a 73-year-old woman at the Northbrook Behavioral Health Hospital in Blackwood. She was charged with third-degree aggravated assault.



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Illinois attorney nursing home neglect

Elder abuse happens much more often then thought

None of us are safe from abuse. When people become frail or lose their mental capacity, then bad people can take advantage of them. Elder abuse can come in the form of physical harm and neglect, emotional cruelty, or financial exploitation, and is more common than you would expect.

A couple of years ago a frail, confused, elderly person arrived in the emergency room with a fractured bone, bruises, sores, and was quite unclean. His family described that the patient had fallen

multiple times recently, and I could see his needs were overwhelming his care providers. If there hadn’t been physical abuse, there was at least neglect. After surgery and hospital care, we were able to send the patient to a nursing home. We all need to be aware when there might be possible physical abuse, and call for help when we see it.



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Illinois lawyers for nursing home abuse

MN boosts funding for nursing home investigations

Newly signed state budget includes millions of dollars in additional funding for the state agency responsible for investigating complaints of nursing home abuse and neglect.

According to the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), only about one percent of cases reported by care facilities themselves receive a full on-site investigation.  Just 10 percent of complaints

from the public receive the full investigation.

MDH blamed a lack of staffing, saying with only 27 investigators, there is no way they could possibly investigate more than 24,000 complaints in a year.

The legislature and Governor Dayton agreed to additional funding to address the problem.  In a special session, they added nearly $9 million to better protect vulnerable

adults.  State lawmakers say that will allow the Office of Health Facility Complaints to add 11 investigators next year and eventually increase their numbers by 23 full-time

positions. Minnesota lawmakers say MDH also needs to streamline their processes and be more efficient in their work.  The legislative auditor is currently reviewing how

the state investigates complaints of abuse and neglect of vulnerable adults.


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