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Waukegan Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers

With the widespread reports of abuse and neglect in nursing homes in Illinois and throughout the country, many families with loved ones living in these facilities are often understandably concerned about their loved ones' well being. In many cases, nursing home residents cannot advocate for themselves and rely on their caretakers for day-to-day care. Although one in 10 nursing home residents reported experiencing non-financial abuse and four in 10 reported being the victim of financial abuse in a recent study conducted by The National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA), only one in 14 cases of abuse were reported to the appropriate authorities.

These statistics can alarm individuals who are considering placing their loved ones in these facilities. Fortunately, a new law was recently signed into place to combat instances of nursing home abuse and neglect in Illinois. House Bill 2462 allows nursing homes in Illinois to install electronic monitoring devices in residents' rooms to catch any instances of mistreatment that occur at the hands of staff members.

Although these monitoring devices will make it easier to monitor your loved one's care, they are a tool, rather than a replacement for regular discussions about the care he or she is receiving with the nursing home staff. You are an advocate for your relative and if you suspect he or she is being mistreated, it is important that you take any action necessary to protect him or her.

Provisions of Illinois HB 2462

HB 2462 granted nursing homes in Illinois the right to install audio or video recording devices in their residents' rooms. The bill allows for any data collected through these devices to be used in criminal, civil, or administrative proceedings regarding a resident's health, welfare, or safety. The law goes into effect January 1, 2016.

The bill contains four main provisions about these recording devices. They are as follows:

  • Residents are responsible for the cost of these devices. Facilities are not required to provide residents with internet service for streaming purposes;
  • Recording devices may not be installed in residents' room without their consent. If a resident cannot fully understand what the presence of such a device means for him or her, consent from his or her legal guardian is required. For individuals without legal guardians, a process to determine and obtain consent may be established and used. All residents in a room must consent to the recording device and may withdraw consent at any time;
  • Hidden cameras are not permitted. Any room that contains a recording device must be marked as such with a clear sign outside the door stating that the room is electronically monitored. Any resident who wishes to use an electronic recording device must notify the facility of his or her intention to do so and the type of device he or she plans to use; and
  • It is illegal to discriminate against any resident for using or desiring to use an electronic monitoring device. Nursing home staff and other individuals may not tamper with a resident's recording device for any reason without the resident's permission and may face criminal charges for doing so. If a resident's right to privacy is compromised through the unauthorized tampering with of his or her camera or audio recording device, the facility may not be held criminally or civilly liable.

How Does this Law Help Nursing Home Residents?

It provides a way to obtain tangible evidence of any instances of mistreatment that a resident faces in his or her room. As your loved one's advocate, it is your job to provide evidence of your claim, if you opt to file a mistreatment claim. When the only evidence you have is a testimony and perhaps a bruise or scar, it can be very difficult to prove that your loved one suffered from abuse.

Nursing home abuse can be physical, emotional, sexual, or financial. Financial abuse, which can include identity theft or stealing money or valuables from a resident, is the most widespread type of elder abuse in the United States. By monitoring everything that happens in a nursing home room, this law aims to combat nursing home abuse by providing residents and their guardians with a resource for taking legal action when mistreatment occurs.

Lake County Nursing Home Injury Attorneys

If your loved one suffers from mistreatment in his or her nursing home, contact an experienced Waukegan nursing home injury attorney to begin the process of filing a personal injury claim. Contact Salvi & Maher, L.L.C. today at 847-662-3303 to discuss your case with us during an initial legal consultation. We can help determine the best way for you to proceed with your case and represent your loved one's interests as you pursue compensation for his or her damages.

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