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Dozens of nursing homes had serious problems in 2018

Good values for all Americans include honoring our parents and grandparents with the care they may need to enjoy their golden years. Therefore, it is sad and surprising that so many long-term care facilities geared towards the needs of senior citizens have chronic problems providing the best possible environment.

The Illinois Department of Public Health allows complaints against nursing homes to be logged online and adjudicated regardless of the actual danger they have caused. The logs help people make decisions regarding residential care so they can avoid problems down the road.

Violations of rules and safety standards are rated by severity, with type "A" violations being serious enough that severe physical harm or death is likely due to it. Among the hundreds of nursing homes in the Prairie State, 28 were cited and/or fined due to type "A" violations in the final quarter of 2018.

The average fine for these violations is $25,000 per occurrence, and these penalties are strictly punitive. As a result, financial damages for actual harm done to residents is a different legal issue, usually resolved in civil court.

These violations included failure to inform a physician of a serious potential medical issue, failure to ensure proper therapies are available for residents and failure to conduct scheduled inspections of at-risk populations.

Victims of nursing home abuse or neglect may seek restitution after an incident or pattern of negligence or poor conduct shown by clinicians or staff working with residents and patients. An attorney can help review the facts surrounding a case and advise the best way forward to prevent future incidents.

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