One of the most distressing things is when a loved one can no longer care for themselves. Assisted living facilities are supposed to make the journey through their late years a little bit easier. However many assisted living facilities are playing fast and loose with the rules and have made many individuals and families feel hopeless. Where are you supposed to turn when the one put in charge of caring for you has forsaken their duty?
While it may seem small consolation, many aggrieved individuals and their families are fighting back. If you or a loved one has ever felt cheated or violated by an assisted living facility, nursing staff, or administration, you now have somewhere to seek some kind of justice. More and more assisted living patients are coming out of the shadows and courts are taking these matters very seriously. It could be any of us or our loved ones who are in the very same situation; the justice system has begun to crack down hard.
For more than 20 years in Illinois, law firms have been fighting back hard against all manner of assisted living facility injustice. Section 295.2000 of the Illinois Department of Public Health Assisted Living Code spells out what separates a quality assisted living facility versus an unacceptable one pretty clearly; if the facility can’t provide the level of care that a patient needs, then they must be moved. Something as simple as medication administration errors, bedsores, or falls at an assisted living facility are things that you can bring up charges against a facility for. More extreme cases like choking and physical abuse have begun popping up all over the nation and families of those receiving this abuse are fed up.
Even more recent is the story of Joan Boice; an 81-year-old woman who had advanced dementia. The assisted living management facility Emeritus took in Ms. Boice even though they did not have the proper ability to handle her needs. Ms. Boice suffered abuse, neglect, and was left to the whims of some staff who maybe didn’t know how to handle her illness or maybe just didn’t care. But that wasn’t good enough for the family members and they took the facility to court. A Sacramento jury awarded her family a staggering $23 million dollars in punitive damages. Ms. Boice developed deep, necrotic pressure wounds while in care at Emeritus’ Auburn California facility for a short 3 months. She died 10 weeks after being moved out of the Emeritus facility and into proper care.
As you can see there is plenty that you and your loved ones can do to bring justice to your own individual situation. The laws vary from state to state but there are firms in many states which are taking on cases of elder neglect and abuse by assisted living facilities. So if your loved one has been complaining of neglect or you have noticed sores or unexplained injuries on an elder who is living in assisted living care, don’t delay.