Q: My parent is at a care facility and I've witnessed what I think is neglect of another person who lives there.
Would I be able to bring suit for them? They have no family as far as I can tell.
A: If you witness abuse of a patient at a nursing home you may report the incident to the police and / or the Illinois Department of Public Health. Reporting an episode may help deter abuse of other patients.
You will not be able to initiate a lawsuit against the facility because you do not have standing to pursue a case. Only a family member or appointed guardian may initiate a case on behalf of the mistreated individual.
A: You should report the neglect of another resident to the administrator of the nursing home or care facility. You should also alert the Illinois Department of Health and Human Services who will likely investigate your complaint. As far as you being able to bring an action for this person, you would have to be appointed guardian of the estate of a disabled person, but would only have standing in that case as a guardian on behalf of the person. The conditions precedent are that the person would have be adjudicated a disabled person by the probate court or consent to your appointment and you would have to be able to provide proof by an affidavit of heirship at least that there were no heirs and no next of kin of this person who would have a greater right to either be appointed guardian of the estate and person (assuming there is an underlying illness or disability that makes that appointment necessary) than you as a stranger trying to help this person.
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