How to Report Abuse or Neglect in Illinois Nursing Homes
When nursing home abuse or neglect occurs in Illinois, reporting it to proper authorities as soon as possible can protect against further injuries, and in some cases save the life of a loved one. Various agencies in Illinois handle reports of abuse and neglect in long term care facilities.
Reporting Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect
If mistreatment is suspected, it’s important to follow proper steps to protect a loved one. Most family members don’t witness actual incidents of abuse or neglect, but there are often visible signs such as cuts and abrasions, bruises, weight loss, dehydration, bedsores, and unsanitary conditions that may indicate mistreatment is occurring. Reporting suspected mistreatment, removing the victim from the facility, and filing a nursing home abuse lawsuit can prevent the victim and other residents from suffering physical injuries, emotional trauma, or death.
The Illinois Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program
The Illinois Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program handles complaints of suspected abuse, neglect, and other Illinois nursing home violations. The program is operated by the Illinois Department on Aging and provides a variety of services including investigations of complaints. The Ombudsman may work directly with the nursing home to address complaint issues first. If issues are not resolved, the Ombudsman will assist in filing a formal complaint with the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH). Contact information for a local Ombudsman is available on the Department on Aging website or by calling (866) 800-1409.
IDPH Nursing Home Complaint Hotline
People can also file complaints directly with the IDPH Central Complaint Registry by calling the Nursing Home Abuse Complaint Hotline at (800) 252-4343. If filing a complaint with IDPH, it’s important to gather the following information:
- Name and address of the victim
- Name and address of the nursing home facility
- Description of specific acts of abuse or neglect
- Specific or estimated date of mistreatment
- Name of staff members or caretakers
- Name of suspected abusers
A complaint with IDHP can be filed anonymously, but providing contact information is required to get followup information regarding the investigation. IDHP does not reveal the identity of the person who filed the complaint without written permission, or unless an Illinois nursing home negligence lawyer files a court case against the nursing home.