Group Home Abuse
While seniors tend to live in nursing homes, developmentally disabled adults typically live in group homes. In these facilities, adults live with others in a home-like atmosphere. On the outside, these may seem like the ideal residences for those who have disabilities and need caregivers, but unfortunately group home abuse is a common occurrence in these environments.
Unlike nursing homes, group homes are barely regulated. Because group homes tend to have very few employees, those who are abused have access to a limited number of people who can help. Police and social services rarely visit and investigate these facilities.
Abuse can be easily hidden if it occurs in a group home environment. If your loved one has been injured or killed by group home abuse, contact a Chicago nursing home lawyer to learn how to bring about justice to the liable parties right away.
Call us today at (312) 236-2900 for a free consultation.
Why is Group Home Abuse Common?
Unfortunately, group home abuse is a common occurrence in Illinois. Since July 2011, the Chicago Tribune identified 1,311 cases of group home abuse. The Illinois Department of Human Services had reported a much lower number. Over the last seven years, there have been at least 42 deaths attributed to group home abuse.
Due to patient privacy laws, it’s easy for group home operators to keep abuse a secret from the authorities. State officials refuse to disclose whether or not a claim has been made against of the group homes, even if a fatality occurs. There are no disclosure requirements.
Nursing homes, on the other hand, have much stricter requirements. They must keep copies of investigations and other reports. Illinois health officials inform the public of any violations by publishing a quarterly report, and the nursing home names and addresses are included on this report.
Disabled people are easy targets because they are seen as weak and unlikely to report abuse. Those with disabilities often find it hard to report abuse. Plus, they may think that if they do report it, nobody
will believe them.
Types of Abuse
Group home abuse includes choking incidents. Since many residents have swallowing issues, they should be monitored while eating. However, this often does not happen and chocking incidents are a common occurrence.
Many residents have inadequate living quarters. Many sleep on soiled sheets and mattresses, while others suffer from bed sores. Some residents fail to receive the medications they need and suffer from painful conditions because they are denied medical treatment.
Many more are abused in other ways. Some are mocked and yelled at for their disabilities. They may be forced to wear soiled clothing or locked in their rooms.
Some are even deprived of food.
Stopping Group Home Abuse
Many group homes do not have proper licensing and are not regulated by the government. Therefore, family members must be proactive in spotting the signs of abuse. They should be aware of bruises and other physical signs of abuse as well as changes in behavior.
Group home operators have a duty to keep residents safe and free from harm. Abusers need to be held accountable for the injuries they cause to their residents. With a lawyer on your side, you can punish the abusers and help your loved one recover compensation for the injuries they have suffered.
Contact a Chicago nursing home lawyer today to file a negligence claim.
Getting Legal Help
Unfortunately, many people with disabilities are exploited and abused in group homes. Abusing the residents is easy to do and even easier to avoid getting caught since group homes are not upheld to the strict standards the government agencies place on nursing homes.
If you believe your loved one suffered from group home abuse, you need legal help right away. The Chicago nursing home lawyers at Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. can investigate your claim and uncover evidence pointing to abuse. Group homes tend to do a good job of keeping quiet about any wrongdoing, but our aggressive lawyers will get the answers you need so you can file a claim.