Those who discover a loved one is being abused in an Illinois nursing home may find themselves unsure of what they need to do as far as reporting goes. It can be devastating to find out that your loved one has been abused or neglected by those you trusted to keep him or her safe. Should you contact the police? Should you contact IDPH? The first step you might want to consider after finding out your loved one has been abused while residing in a nursing home is to contact an experienced Illinois nursing home abuse attorney.
Your attorney can guide you through the process, ensuring you follow the correct protocol and achieve the right outcome for you and your loved one. An Illinois nursing home abuse attorney from the Finn Law Firm can answer your questions, helping you determine which of the following steps you need to take for the safety and future of your loved one.
The Illinois Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program is operated by the Illinois Department on Aging. This program offers many services, including investigating complaints of suspected neglect and abuse, as well as other violations of state nursing home regulations, then taking steps to resolve any issues. You can contact the Illinois Department on Aging at 1-800-252-8966 or 1-888-206-1327, for more information regarding the Illinois Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program, or you can call 866-800-1409. The Ombudsman could attempt to work directly with the nursing home in an attempt to address any issues you raise in your complaint, however, if the issue is not resolved, the ombudsman will assist you in filing a complaint with the Illinois Department of Public Health.
You can also report any suspected nursing home abuse or neglect through the Illinois Senior HelpLine. The number for the Senior HelpLine is 800-252-8966, or you can contact the Senior HelpLine via email at [email protected].
You may decide to move forward with your complaint of nursing home abuse or neglect by filing a complaint with the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH). The number for IDPH is 800-252-4343, or 800-547-0466. If you report abuse or neglect in a nursing home to IDPH, the agency must begin an investigation within 24 hours of receiving a complaint if that complaint indicates the nursing home resident is in imminent danger, within 7 days when abuse or neglect is alleged, and within 30 days for all other types of complaints.
You may be interviewed by IDPH, and your loved one could also be interviewed, along with other residents and staff members at the nursing home. If IDPH determines a violation has occurred, a notice will be sent to the nursing home as well as to you if you gave your contact information to IDPH. IDPH will not reveal your identity as the one filing the complaint unless you give written permission, your identity is essential to the investigation, or a court case is filed by IDPH against the nursing home. When you lodge a complaint against a nursing home, the facility may not retaliate against you or your loved one.
In addition to doing one or more of the above, you should also contact an experienced Illinois nursing home abuse attorney from the Finn Law Firm. Attorney Larry Finn will ensure your rights and that of your loved one are fully protected from start to finish. Your Finn Law Firm attorney will serve as your liaison between the nursing home and IDPH, or, can conduct an independent investigation into the abuse or neglect of your loved one while he or she was in a nursing home. Larry Finn will comprehensively assess the facts of your case, then will offer options for seeking relief through a lawsuit. You may be entitled to receive compensation for physical, emotional, or financial harm suffered by your loved one. Contact the Finn Law Firm today!