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Nursing Home Negligence

At some point in our lives, many of us will be confronted with the decision as to whether to admit a loved one to a nursing home for either rehabilitation services or long-term care. While the decision is never an easy one, choosing the right nursing home is very important and may go a long way toward buying some piece of mind.

As most of us have probably heard, the COVID era has resulted in a shortage of qualified nurses and healthcare workers. Nursing homes have been hit particularly hard by this shortage and, consequently, many have resorted to hiring healthcare workers with minimal training and experience. Despite the attractive websites displaying pristine rooms, well-groomed personnel, and happy residents, the reality may be an entirely different picture. The following are a few things to consider when choosing a nursing home.

Most importantly, you should visit the facility, meet with the Administrator, and ask for a tour of the facility. If possible, talk to some of the residents and get a feel for how they perceive the care. It is also a good idea to discuss staffing questions with the Administrator, i.e., training and experience levels of the nursing staff, how often they make patient rounds, charting practices, how they address resident complaints. Additionally, you should inquire as to whether the facility is fully insured. A reputable facility should carry adequate malpractice insurance. If they do not, that should be a big red flag. It may be surprising to learn that many of these facilities are grossly underinsured. Lastly, it may be a good idea to speak with an attorney who can look up the facility’s history of violations of nursing home regulations and claim records.

The Illinois Nursing Home Care Act provides protection to nursing home residents who are the victims of nursing home negligence. Feel free to contact one of the attorneys at Ridge & Downes should you have any questions.

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