Home Healthcare Abuse Claims Require the Help of an Elder Abuse Lawyer in Cook County
Home health professionals and other aides are a necessity for many elderly and seriously ill people who choose to live and be cared for in their homes. Most do an exemplary job, but if workers are guilty of home healthcare abuse, then your loved one may be injured, and in some cases, their finances may suffer. The terms “abuse” and “neglect” both refer to the failure of a person who has a duty or responsibility to provide basic care and the necessities of life to an elderly, disabled or seriously injured or ill person.
When medical professionals or caregivers abuse or neglect their vulnerable victims, they are legally liable – as might also be their employer – for damages if abuse or negligence further harms victims. An elder abuse lawyer in Cook County can help get justice for your injured loved one.
Detecting Home Healthcare Abuse or Neglect
When visiting with your elderly or bedridden relative, signs of neglect or abuse may include:
- Bed sores
- Poor hygiene
- Dehydration or weight loss as a result of malnutrition
- Unsanitary living conditions
- Medical problems may appear untreated
The victim may be left alone for long periods of time without food or assistance to get to the bathroom, and he or she may have unexplained bruises or broken bones. Sometimes, there could be evidence that the home healthcare worker might have even financially abused the helpless victim.
True Link Protection, which provides financial tools that protect the public from financial scams and identity theft, reports that American seniors lose an average of $6.6 billion annually to “deceit or theft enabled by a trusting relationship.” Prominently listed among the offenders are in-home “paid helpers.”
The Illinois Health Care Worker Background Check Act: [§ 225 ILCS 46] holds home health care providers accountable for conducting background checks on their employees. They are also required to certify their workers have the proper accreditation for their jobs. Some home health care providers fail to fulfill either or both of these legal requirements and can be held legally liable if one of their employees commits home healthcare abuse.
When Home Care Neglect or Abuse Becomes Malpractice
In many cases, home health aides are overworked and maybe even undertrained. This can cause accidents that fully qualified workers might normally anticipate and, in some cases, increase the odds of improper behavior by an in-home aide.
The laws about elderly neglect and abuse are complicated, and the facts surrounding every allegation can be unique and unclear. Fortunately, there are several state and federal agencies that oversee this industry. So if a home care worker or their employer displays a pattern of neglect or abuse, an experienced attorney can connect the dots to prove malpractice when it is indeed present.
If you believe your family member is suffering from home health care provider negligence or abuse, our elder abuse lawyers in Cook County can help. Buttafuoco and Associates’ experienced home healthcare abuse attorneys offer a free consultation. Contact us anytime by calling 1-800-NOW-HURT, or fill out our online contact form.