Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that over a million individuals live in nursing homes and long-term care facilities all over America. A huge portion of this population includes elderly adults that are vulnerable to different types of abuse.

According to the National Center on Elder Abuse, around one in every three nursing homes has received citations for some sort of violation against set federal standards for long-term care facilities and other similar institutions. Even more alarmingly, reports show that almost one out of every ten nursing homes received their citations for violations that were found to have caused particular danger for its residents.

The situation for nursing home residents in Illinois is becoming even more alarming due to recent developments in legislature. As reported by U.S. News and The State Journal-Register, earlier this year, lawmakers have introduced House Bill 5601, which would ban anonymous complaints regarding abuse or neglect in Illinois nursing homes. The bill hopes to discourage individuals from making false reports, but it also has the potential to discourage actual elderly victims from speaking out due to shame and fear of retribution from their abusers.

In such a climate, raising awareness about the abuses that continue to take place in nursing homes proves to be especially important. The on-going cases of neglect, physical abuse, financial exploitation, among other devastating scenarios, can no longer be ignored. Karlin, Fleisher & Falkenberg note the importance of pursuing these cases of abuse to help protect current and future victims alike.

Of course, protecting elderly residents from nursing home abuse will be an uphill battle. However, families who suspect that their loved ones are being hurt in the hands of their caregivers shouldn’t be afraid to speak out and pursue justice. If you suspect that your loved one is being abused in a nursing home, do not hesitate to consult with a qualified personal injury lawyer to learn more about your legal options.