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Chicago Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers

Let Us Help Put a Stop to Elder Mistreatment

If you suspect that your loved one is suffering from abuse or neglect in an Illinois nursing home,contact our law firm right away. We’ll take immediate measures to help prevent further harm and make sure your loved one is safe. Then, we will help you hold the healthcare professional and/or facility accountable for this unconscionable behavior.

Our nursing home abuse lawyers at DePaolo & Zadeikis are committed to building a safer future for elderly people in long term care facilities. We are the voice of Chicago’s most vulnerable, and we want to help you and your loved one take a stand against abuse and neglect.

  • We have over 70 years of combined experience protecting the rights of injured people in Illinois.
  • We offer free, confidential consultationsto help you decide how best to proceed with your injury case.
  • Our nursing home abuse lawyers will meet with you and your family members in your home or another location that’s convenient for you.
  • We accept nursing home abuse cases on a contingency basis.You don’t pay attorney fees unless we win.
  • Questions or concerns? Our attorneysreturn client phone calls within 24 hours.
  • We have recovered over $300 million for our clients.

Early intervention is crucial in combatting nursing home abuse, so don’t hesitate to contact our attorneys for help. Your vigilance can make all the difference for your loved one’s well-being.

Don’t let your loved one suffer in silence. Contact our nursing home abuse attorneys right away. Call 312-263-7560.

Recognizing the Red Flags: Signs of Elder Abuse and Neglect

Recognizing the red flags that may indicate nursing home abuse or neglect has occurred, or is occurring, is the first step in protecting your elderly loved one from harm. Trust your instincts. If you notice any changes in behavior, appearance, or overall well-being, make sure to investigate the cause.

While some signs of elder mistreatment are obvious, subtle clues often lurk beneath the surface. Vigilance and keen observation are your most powerful tools in ensuring your loved one’s well-being.

Seeing the subtle clues:

Abuse and neglect often manifest in physical signs that can be easily mistaken for normal signs of aging or disease. Examples include unexplained bruises, bedsores and skin infections, malnutrition, or poor hygiene.

Looking beyond the surface:

Listen for clues from your loved one. A hesitant mention of rough handling, for instance, might be a sign of maltreatment. Be especially mindful of changes in behavior, like unexplained withdrawal, fear, anxiety, or sudden personality shifts.

What to Do if You Suspect Nursing Home Abuse

The comfort and well-being of our loved ones in nursing homes is paramount. Yet, the specter of abuse and neglect lingers in the long term care setting, inflicting emotional and physical harm upon our most vulnerable loved ones. Recognizing the signs of maltreatment are just the beginning. Understanding how to get help, and taking decisive action, can make a world of difference. If you suspect wrongdoing, we recommend that you take the following steps.

Take Immediate Action

If suspicions of nursing home abuse or neglect arise, act immediately. Document observations with dates, times, and detailed descriptions. Talk to your loved one with empathy and reassurance. Take photos of torn or soiled clothing, bruises, cuts, or other injuries, and other evidence that demonstrates that abuse or neglect may exist.

Contact the Authorities

If your loved one is in immediate danger, call 9-1-1 and report the abuse to the Chicago Police Department. Otherwise, you can report the maltreatment by contacting the Illinois Department on Aging, filing a complaint with the Illinois Department of Public Health, or calling the Department’s 24-hour Nursing Home Hotline at 800-252-4343.

Contact Our Lawyers

Getting an attorney on your side right away is vital to preserving evidence and ensuring the safety of your loved one and other nursing home residents. Our experienced nursing home abuse lawyers will investigate the nursing home to uncover any wrongdoing by nursing home staff members, help you find safe solutions for the care of your loved one, and guide you through the legal process to ensure abusers are held accountable for their behavior.

Types of Nursing Home Abuse 

There are many forms of abuse that occur all too often in nursing homes in Chicago.

Physical Abuse

In a nursing home setting, physical abuse encompasses any intentional act that inflicts bodily harm or pain on a resident. It can take various forms, ranging from seemingly minor instances to severe violence. Examples include:

  • Hitting
  • Pinching
  • Kicking
  • Grabbing
  • Pushing
  • Jerking

Emotional Abuse

Emotional abuse doesn’t leave physical scars, but this hidden form of abuse chips away at victims’ spirits, causing sadness, anxiety, fearfulness, and depression. Examples of emotional abuse include:

  • Verbal threats
  • Insults
  • Humiliation
  • Isolation
  • Belittlement
  • Intimidation

Sexual Abuse

Cognitive impairments that often accompany aging and disease put nursing home residents at a higher risk of suffering sexual abuse. Engaging in any form of non-consensual sexual activity with a nursing home resident is abuse, even if no physical contact is made. This includes:

  • Recording or sharing pornographic photos or videos of the victim
  • Forcing the resident to undress
  • Making the resident witness sexual acts
  • Unwanted touching or fondling
  • Making sexual comments toward the resident
  • Forcing the resident to perform sexual acts

Willful Deprivation

Willful deprivation can lead to severe physical and emotional injuries for nursing home residents. Withholding personal property, necessities, and essential care can cause dehydration, worsening medical conditions, malnutrition, anxiety and depression, and even death. Examples of willful deprivation include:

  • Withholding water or food
  • Withholding medical treatment
  • Withholding medications
  • Taking away personal property
  • Isolating the resident
  • Withholding phone use or visitation

Confinement & Restraints

Confinement and various types of restraints are often misused in nursing homes. When confinement, physical restraints, or chemical restraints are used for convenience, as a means of control, or to combat labor shortages, it’s a form of abuse.

  • Chemical restraints:Administered without proper justification or informed consent.
  • Physical restraints:Used for extended periods or for reasons other than safety.
  • Locked doors:Restricting freedom of movement without a legitimate reason.
  • Isolation:Separating residents from social interaction or activities for excessive periods.
  • Environmental restrictions: Creating barriers that impede movement, like excessive furniture or locked closets.
  • Lack of alternative support:Failing to explore other methods for managing challenging behaviors before resorting to confinement or restraints.

Financial Abuse

Financial abuse in nursing homes involves unauthorized or coercive actions to exploit residents’ financial resources. Perpetrators may misuse funds, coerce residents into signing financial documents, or steal personal belongings. Vigilance and reporting are crucial to safeguarding vulnerable individuals from this form of exploitation in care facilities. Types of financial abuse include:

  • Forging checks
  • Using a resident’s credit card without consent
  • Coercing the resident to make changes to a will or insurance policy
  • Stealing cash money from the resident
  • Controlling a resident’s financial affairs
  • Misleading a resident about fees and expenses


With labor shortages in the healthcare profession at all-time highs, nursing homes are prime breeding grounds for neglect. Even when it’s unintentional, nursing home neglect can lead to physical and emotional harm for vulnerable individuals in long term care facilities. Behaviors that constitute neglect include failing to:

  • Assist with eating, drinking, bathing, or using the bathroom
  • Administer the correct medications on time and in the prescribed dosage
  • Move or “turn” patients with mobility issues
  • Report or treat infections and other medical conditions
  • Assist with personal hygiene
  • Provide adequate supervision

Are Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Considered Medical Malpractice?

While both may involve harm to residents in nursing homes, nursing home abuse and neglect are distinct from medical malpractice. Here’s why:

Medical malpractice:

  • Focuses on negligent medical care by qualified healthcare professionals like doctors or nurses.
  • Requires proving that the act of providing medical treatment, or lack thereof, caused harm to the patient.
  • Often involves misdiagnosis, medication errors, or improper treatment.

Nursing home abuse and neglect:

  • Covers nonmedical mistreatment like physical or emotional abuse, financial exploitation, or failure to provide basic care.
  • May involve residents harmed by caregivers, staff, or even other residents.
  • Focuses on intentional or reckless acts, or the failure to fulfill basic care obligations.

Therefore, nursing home abuse and neglect fall under elder abuse laws, not medical malpractice. However, if the harm stems from negligent medical care within the facility, a medical malpractice claim might be possible alongside elder abuse claims.

Frequently Asked Questions About Nursing Home Abuse

Who Can File a Lawsuit Against a Nursing Home in Illinois?

Nursing home residents and/or their personal representatives can file a lawsuit against a nursing home in Illinois.

How Long Do I have to File a Lawsuit for Nursing Home Abuse?

Generally speaking, victims and their families have just two years from the date of the incident, or when you should have known about the incident, to file a lawsuit for nursing home abuse in Illinois. Some circumstances can impact the statute of limitations, however. Your injury attorney will help you understand the filing deadline that applies to your case.

Are Chicago Nursing Homes Safe?

Chicago’s nursing homes are some of the worst in the nation. There are, however, Chicago nursing homes that provide proper care and treatment to residents. Here are several ways to find out about nursing homes with complaints in Chicago:

Government Resources: