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Did a nursing home cover up your loved one's abuse?

It's always a difficult decision when you need to place a loved one in an assisted living or nursing home facility. In many cases, doing so is a medical or financial necessity. Not everyone with an elderly parent can retire or afford to hire around-the-clock in-home nursing staff. Nursing homes exist to provide care to those who are no longer able to do so for themselves. You likely did research before placing your loved one in a facility, trying to ensure that you found a place that was safe, clean and respectful. Unfortunately, Illinois has a poor history when it comes to nursing home care.

It only takes one abusive aide, nurse or orderly to traumatize or injure your loved one. Discovering signs of abuse on an elderly loved one can be heart-wrenching. Realizing that the facility has covered up the issue of abuse or neglect is even worse. Unfortunately, some nursing homes have a culture of silence or active cover-ups when it comes to mistreatment of residents. Medical notes and records may get altered to include explanations, however thin, for injuries or bedsores. Records about who worked when may become unavailable or even get changed to make it harder to find the truth.

Nursing homes have an obligation to residents

Owners, operators and managers of nursing homes all have responsibilities to the residents there, as well as their families. People place trust in these facilities and do so with the expectation that the residents will be well-treated in a safe and sanitary environment.

Unfortunately, some people place profit, personal security or convenience above the well-being of others. These people might hire those with questionable backgrounds in order to pay the lowest wages possible. They could also decide to systemically cover up cases of abuse or serious neglect to avoid financial liability.

Hold staff accountable

Those who don't complete job requirements or who get accused of abuse or neglect should get investigated and fired, if claims are substantiated. Failing to do so puts every resident at risk. When a nursing home places profit or staff job security over the well-being of the residents, they should get held accountable. Your loved one and everyone else who lives in the facility deserves to be safe and healthy, especially when their family or health insurance pays large amounts monthly for their care.

It can be difficult to document systemic abuses and an attempted cover-up, but doing so can help ensure your loved one gets protected in the future. You may need to prove to law enforcement or the courts that your loved one has suffered abuse or neglect. Any evidence that shows an intentional cover-up of mistreatment of residents could help protect your loved one and future residents.

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