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Nursing Home Negligence

As the population of people in nursing homes has increased over the years, so too have the incidents of nursing home negligence and abuse.  In recognition of this unfortunate fact, Congress enacted the Nursing Home Reform Act in 1987 as part of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1987 which established a Resident’s Bill of Rights to ensure that residents of nursing homes receive quality care that will result in their achieving or maintaining their “highest practicable” physical, mental, and psychosocial well-being. Nursing homes receive Medicaid and Medicare payments for long-term care of residents only if they are certified by the state to be in substantial compliance with the requirements of the Nursing Home Reform Act.  Illinois has also enacted legislation to ensure the safety and security of its nursing home residents.

Despite the best efforts of the Congress and many states, nursing home residents continue to be subjected to neglect or mistreatment during their residence in the facility.  Mistreatment comes in many forms: financial exploitation, verbal abuse, physical abuse, sexual assault, malnutrition, bed sores, medication errors and falls.  Falls among nursing home residents occur frequently and repeatedly.  About 1,800 older adults living in nursing homes die each year from fall-related injuries and those who survive falls frequently sustain hip fractures and head injuries that result in permanent disability and reduced quality of life.  If you believe that you or a loved one has been subjected to mistreatment in a nursing home environment, you should immediately contact a personal injury attorney who can evaluate the situation and guide you through the process of asserting your rights.  For more information, see our section on Nursing Home Negligence.