There are around 1,200 long-term care facilities in the state of Illinois. According to the state's Department of Public Health, these facilities assist over 100,000 citizens. While most of these facilities are perfectly reputable, abuse has occurred in the state before and will most likely happen again.
You hope abuse will not happen to one of your loved ones, but you need to keep an eye out for the signs just in case. It feels devastating to discover a loved one has suffered neglect of abuse by caregivers, and you need to consider who to talk to first. You can get in touch with an attorney to simply review your options, and you may want to think about bringing up your concerns with the nursing home staff, too.
Hear the staff's opinions calmly
If you suspect abuse, then you may feel naturally angry. Keep your emotions in check when you confront people who work at the facility. Calmly ask them to explain the situation. There could be a reasonable explanation for what occurred. Take notes for every person you speak with. Get their names, contact information and positions at the company. You should also take notes if an employee seems standoffish and does not want you talking to people.
Talk to other residents
If the staff is not much help, then you can also try talking to other residents you have no relation with. They may be able to provide you with additional details about the abuse or neglect taking place, if any. Be careful with how you go about this. The nursing home staff may not want you talking to random people. This may not indicate anything nefarious, but it is something to consider.
Call the police when there is immediate danger
When a loved one is seriously injured, do not hesitate to contact the police. You can also call the Illinois Department of Public Health's Nursing Home Hotline at 800-252-4343. The Hotline is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You should also contact an attorney with experience in representing victims of nursing home abuse and neglect.