Families must remain vigilant for signs of abuse by home health care workers and should take decisive action if their loved one is mistreated. They should report the abuse to law enforcement right away. An attorney may also be able to help them file a lawsuit against the home health care company.
Families Can Take Action for Abuse
Roughly one in ten Americans over the age of 60 has experienced some type of abuse. Older people are often alone and isolated, which opens the door for abuse to occur. Isolation is one reason many cases of abuse go unreported.
Home health care workers provide services in patients’ homes, many times without anyone else present. They often have a large amount of power over the people they are helping. While a large majority of these workers are caring and compassionate, some commit the following types of abuse:
The first thing to do is to put a stop to the abuse. Families have several options. They could call the police. They could also report the abuse to the Illinois Department of Aging, which has experience in these cases. The government could investigate and take further action if necessary. The state takes these reports seriously, and there is a 24-hour hotline to field complaints.
The family may also be able to file an abuse lawsuit. There is no requirement that elder abuse must happen in a nursing home for a lawsuit to be filed. In many cases, the home health care worker is employed by a company. Their employer has a legal obligation to pay close attention when hiring caregivers. Illinois law requires background checks for home health care workers. These people must also be properly trained and supervised.
The Employer Could Be Held Responsible
When the worker is an employee, the company they work for is legally responsible for their acts on the job. They can be sued for abuse. A nursing home abuse lawyer could investigate the claims and advise a family if they have a lawsuit against the home health care company. Filing a lawsuit is one way to help ensure that the negligent company pays a price for the abuse a worker committed.