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Mickey Rooney Shines Light on Elder Abuse

Mickey Rooney's testimony last week before the Senate Special Committee on Aging has brought the problem of elder abuse into the light once again.  Mickey Rooney, who was granted a restraining order against his stepson a few weeks ago, pleaded with the Committee to "stop this elderly abuse...Now. Not tomorrow, not next month, but now." Following his testimony, Sen. Herb Kohl (D-Wis), Chairman of the Committee, introduced a proposal that would establish an Office of Elder Justice within the U.S. Justice Department.

Unfortunately, elder abuse, including nursing home abuse , is all too common.  According to the Administration on Aging of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, elder abuse is "any knowing, intentional, or negligent act by a caregiver or any other person that causes harm or a serious risk of harm to a vulnerable adult."

Elder abuse can occur at the same of any caregiver, including family members, like Mickey Rooney's case, but it often occurs in nursing homes which can be overcrowded, understaffed and underfunded.  As a result, the most common form of nursing home abuse is neglect.

Before choosing a nursing home facility, you should consider whether the facility has adequate safety measures in place (smoke detectors, fire extinguishers and clearly marked stairways and exits), has an appropriate staff-to-patient ratio, a staff that promptly responds and communicates with residents and their families, and has safe and accessible bathing and dining facilities.

It is important to be vigilant about the signs of elder and nursing home abuse, such as unkempt and dirty appearances, lack of assistance with eating, drinking and bathing, and the presence of bedsores.  It is also important to watch for possible financial exploitation.

If you or someone you love is a victim of elder or nursing home abuse, you should contact the Senior HelpLine (800) 252-8966 immediately.  To file a complaint against a nursing home facility, call the Illinois Department of Public Health at (800) 252-4343.

The trusted Chicago elder abuse attorneys at Steinberg, Goodman, & Kalish are committed to helping victims of nursing home and elder abuse.  Contact us at (888) 325-7299 if you suspect elder or nursing home abuse, including medical malpractice.

Steinberg, Goodman, & Kalish  ( is dedicated to protecting victims and their families.  We handle medical malpractice, product liability, personal injury, wrongful death, auto accidents, professional negligence, birth trauma, and railroad law matters. Contact us at (888) 325-7299.

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