Is it Neglect if the Nursing Home Does Not Answer Call Lights?

illinois nursing home injury lawyerOne of the main reasons people enter nursing homes is because they can no longer perform their normal activities of daily living and need help. People who reside in nursing homes can generally do very little to care for themselves and must rely on caregivers for assistance with everything from eating to dressing. When your loved one in a nursing home presses their call light, everyone should be able to expect that someone will come along in a timely fashion to see what they need. Whether a nursing home resident presses their call light because they need help making a phone call or because they have fallen out of their chair, they deserve a prompt response. If your loved one’s call light is going unanswered, they may be facing nursing home neglect. An attorney can advise you on what your next steps should be. 

Dangers of Leaving a Call Light Unanswered 

Healthy people who can help themselves do not live in nursing homes. The people who do move into nursing homes are typically medically fragile and in poor health. A call light may be a nursing home resident’s only means of summoning help when they need assistance or are in trouble. Until a caregiver responds, there is no way for anyone to know whether the resident is calling for a normal, routine need or because they are having an emergency. While it is probably alright if someone has to wait a bit for help changing their clothes, it is absolutely not alright if someone has to wait more than a few minutes for help because they are having chest pains. 

When a nursing home resident uses their call light, someone should come by very shortly to determine what the need is. While waiting for a call light to be answered, a nursing home resident could be: 

  • On the floor after a fall

  • Having a medical emergency like a heart attack

  • Threatened by another resident 

  • In pain

  • In urgent need of their medication

  • Stranded

Why Do Call Lights Go Unanswered?

Nursing homes are frequently understaffed. While there is a shortage of caregivers, this is not an excuse for leaving society’s most vulnerable adults without adequate care. Nursing homes should have systems in place that allow them to respond promptly to call lights to at least determine whether the resident’s need is urgent. 

Contact a Kane County Nursing Home Neglect Lawyer

Kinnally Flaherty Krentz Loran Hodge & Masur P.C. is committed to protecting elderly adults from being neglected in their nursing homes. Our dedicated Aurora nursing home neglect attorneys will do everything in our power to help you keep your loved ones safe and to recover compensation for them if they have suffered neglect. Call 630-907-0909 for a free consultation. 



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