If you recently discovered that the people to whom you entrusted the care of your elderly loved one have been abusing or neglecting your loved one, you may feel angry, sick, and even guilty. At Dwyer & Coogan, P.C., our Chicago nursing home abuse lawyers have helped countless families that find themselves in the same situation as you. We are dedicated to helping victims and their families obtain justice for the harms done to them. In this post, we’ll discuss how to file Illinois nursing home complaints and how you can get help.
To learn more about how we are prepared to help you, contact us to schedule a consultation.
How to File a Nursing Home Complaint in Illinois
If you believe your loved one is suffering from abuse in a nursing home, you have a few options to file a complaint. These include the following:
- File a grievance
- File a complaint with the Illinois Department of Public Health
- File a complaint with the Long-Term Care Ombudsman
- File a private lawsuit
Note that you can take these actions simultaneously. Not all are required, and they do not necessarily need to taken in any given order.
Filing A Grievance
If you suspect nursing home abuse, it can be helpful to voice your concerns to the home management or employer. If the nursing home has a resident council, that group can also be beneficial to contact. The council can offer advice on who to contact and may be able to present complaints on behalf of you and your loved one to the appropriate parties.
Illinois Department Of Public Health
If you have gone through the necessary steps to resolve the issue with the home or employer, or if you believe that the management or employer is a problem as well, you can circumvent that step and contact the Illinois Department of Public Health directly.
Complaints may be filed by the patient, a patient’s family member, staff, advocacy groups, or caregivers. There are certain professionals who are required, by law, to file a complaint. Those professionals work in the following fields:
- Adult care
- Law enforcement
- Social services
- Social work
- State service to seniors
You may file your complaint with the DPH by mail, phone, or fax.
Long Term Care Ombudsman
You may also contact your local long-term care sub-state ombudsman or the Illinois Department of Aging Senior Helpline. An ombudsman is a position that is overseen by the Illinois Department of Aging. This position provides support to individuals who suspect nursing home abuse, working with the home to help resolve the issues at hand.
Illinois nursing home facilities and staffers are governed by the Illinois Nursing Care Act, in addition to other state and federal regulations. If found guilty of negligence and/or assault and battery, the facility and employer may be held liable for damages via a civil tort claim. Nursing home residents’ rights under the nursing care act include but are not limited to the following:
- Free speech and religion
- Freedom from abuse and neglect
- The right to privacy
- Freedom from working for the facility
- The right to mail, phone, and visitation
- The right to be free of physical restraints
- Personal property rights
- Medical rights
- Mental health rights
- Financial rights
If a nursing home facility or staff member violates any of the aforementioned rights, the employee and the facility may be sued for damages.
Contact a Lawyer if You Suspect Abuse
If you suspect that a loved one is the victim of nursing home abuse or neglect, it is essential for your loved one’s health, safety, and possibly future that you contact an Illinois nursing home abuse attorney right away. An experienced attorney understands your rights within the confines of the law better than most and can use their knowledge to help ensure that your family obtains the best possible outcome.
Take the first step toward justice today. Contact our offices to set up a free initial consultation.