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Nursing home fined for failing to stop sexual abuse

It is rarely a person's dream to have all their needs met in a nursing home or an assisted living facility because they can't care for themselves. Most seniors or people facing long-term mobility or health issues would rather live on their own or with family and loved ones. However, when someone requires full-time care, they may need to live in an assisted living facility or nursing home.

People looking for the right nursing home do have to be very discerning when it's time to make the choice. There are challenges to safety in every environment, but overworked staff members or support workers sometimes take advantage of senior residents. As a result, the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) maintains records of complaints against nursing homes for public reference.

A home in Jacksonville was recently fined by the IDPH after an investigation into a reported case of sexual assault. The case involved two residents -- a schizophrenic man and a woman with cognitive issues related to dementia. The investigation found that facility staff did not properly address the woman's high risk of abuse or neglect because of her inability to advocate for herself.

Family members of victims can launch a lawsuit in civil court to stop nursing home abuse or neglect and prevent future offenses against a loved one and other residents even if a state agency hasn't levied a fine and/or criminal charges haven't been filed. An experienced attorney may be able to help investigate claims and advise residents and their families on the best way forward for seeking justice and compensation.

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