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Common signs of neglect or abuse at a nursing home

When residents in Illinois leave their elderly family members in the care of another person or facility, they are trusting that their loved ones will be cared for like family there. Unfortunately, that isn't always the case. Abuse and neglect in nursing homes are all too common, and abuse of power can occur. Here are some common signs of abuse or neglect to watch out for.

Nursing Home Alert states that abuse and neglect are categorized separately. Abuse is the intentional harm - physical, mental or emotional - of a resident. Neglect, on the other hand, can be unintentional or intentional. It occurs when a resident is not provided with what they need to live comfortably, or even survive in some cases.

How can I tell if my parent is being abused in a nursing home?

It can be difficult emotionally to see your parent put in a nursing home. You might be feeling sad that your parent is no longer independent, as well as a little guilty that you are not caring for your aging loved one yourself. However, sometimes it is necessary for Illinois residents to put their trust in nursing home caregivers. Your work schedule or inexperience with your relative’s specific needs might leave you no other choice.

Ideally, nursing home caregivers should treat your parent with dignity and respect while giving him or her the best care possible. Sadly, this is not always the case for many nursing home facilities across the country. It is not uncommon for caregivers to mistreat or neglect a very vulnerable segment of society. If you suspect your loved one is not receiving quality care at his or her nursing home, HelpGuide suggests you might look for the following signs:

  • Sudden emotional withdrawal, fear and mistrust toward certain members of staff or signs of depression and anxiety
  • Injuries that cannot be explained to your satisfaction, such as fractures, cuts, scratches or finger-shaped bruising
  • Infected or untreated pressure sores
  • Signs of malnourishment or dehydration
  • Unhygienic conditions and unwashed bedding in your parent’s room

Injuries after a car accident

When you are involved in a car accident in Illinois, you may sometimes receive serious injuries. We at Parker and Parker, Attorneys at Law, understand it can be beneficial for people to know how they might be hurt if they are in a collision.

When you consider the injuries you might have after a car crash, whiplash is likely the first wound that comes to mind. According to FindLaw, the muscles and ligaments in your neck can be harmed if your head jerks suddenly. Your vocal cords may also sometimes be paralyzed for short time. Sometimes you might incur a brain injury if your head smacks into a window or the steering wheel. This kind of wound varies in severity, and while you may sometimes only have a concussion, a more serious collision might result in a brain injury that affects your cognitive abilities.   

Dividing retirement assets in a divorce

Illinois residents may not realize that retirement savings are among the assets which need to be divided after a divorce. The way these savings are split can differ depending on the type of retirement plan people have, and it is important to understand the different ways retirement savings can be divided.

As they prepare to divide their retirement savings, it is good for people to look into the laws about property division in Illinois. According to FindLaw, it is common for property to be divided equally between spouses. The length of a marriage and the amount that each spouse contributed to the retirement savings is usually considered. Additionally, a court might examine the economic situation of each spouse once the divorce is finalized and whether they will be able to contribute enough money to retirement savings in the future. 

The process of adopting your stepchildren

When you get remarried, you may consider adopting your stepchildren so everyone feels they are all part of the same new family. At Parker and Parker, Attorneys at Law, we understand that you likely have many questions about this process.

You may think that adopting your stepchildren is simply a matter of signing some paperwork. This can be the case, but even signing consents to an adoption can involve more detail and nuance than many expect. FindLaw says that both birth parents need to give their consent to this adoption, and that is quite simply NOT correct all of the time.  There can be ways to complete an adoption and terminate parental rights that do not involve signing a consent. Your particular situation determines what options are available to terminate the rights of a mother or, more commonly, a putative or legal father. It is important that we sit down in our office and discuss the unique history of your lives and what options become available.

For example, if your spouse's ex-husband has not maintained enough contact with the children or contributed financially, his consent to the adoption may not be necessary by proving that he is unfit. As another example, if your spouse's ex was never actually her husband at all and never filed a paternity case to establish his legal rights, then there may be additional, potentially easier ways to proceed in the adoption without his consent.

Only 15 percent of US nursing homes receive good rating

Residents in Illinois who have elderly relatives that require nursing home care have good reason to worry about their safety and well being. There are too many reports about residents in these facilities where they should be protected and cared for instead being neglected or abused in some way. When the time comes to look for a place to receive good care for a loved one, some people may not know where to turn.

U.S. News and World Report has put together a tool to help people across the United States identify options for good nursing home care. They have also recently published a list of what they refer to as Best Nursing Homes across the country. This designation was only given to a mere 15 percent of all facilities nationwide. The report is based upon data that included a review of nursing home staff, safety, health inspections and overall levels of care provided to residents.

What is a qualified domestic relations order?

If you are getting divorced or considering a divorce in Illinois and you have a 401K account, you will likely want to learn about the qualified domestic relations order. There are many benefits of a QDRO and depending upon your divorce settlement, you may be able to take advantage of this special type of order.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, a qualified domestic relations order may be used to facilitate multiple types of financial transactions related to a divorce. One of the most times when a QDRO may be used is when two spouses must split one person's 401K or other employer-sponsored retirement account. A QDRO can legally allow funds to be paid directly to the spouse who does not own the account. By bypassing the account owner, that person then avoid tax liability on the distribution. In addition, some penalties may also be avoided. The spouse who receives the money may not have to pay taxes if they reinvest the money into another retirement account.

Stunning Change in Illinois Child Support Law

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For the first time in nearly 35 years, the child support laws in the state of Illinois have been completely modified. It used to be that one parent paid virtually all of the child support to the other parent. This way of calculating child support could clearly be unfair when the parent receiving the child support already had substantial income.

So, the new law recognizes the fact that both parents may have income to contribute to the support of their children. In fact, it is generally referred to as a new "income shares model."

Technology joins the fight against drunk driving

As Illinois drivers know, one of the major dangers on the road is drunk drivers. New advances in technology are being used to help curb this dangerous behavior in an effort to keep our roads safer.

According to reports by KTHV, Faulkner County, Arkansas, has put a new program in place for repeat DWI offenders to use the Check BAC app to monitor their blood alcohol levels. This app uses a Bluetooth-connected breathalyzer, and users record themselves taking the test, which is then sent to a monitoring system that can contact the authorities automatically if there is alcohol present in a user's system. Officials say that this allows them not only to know the blood alcohol data but also to see a person's behavior and their environment through the video. Those in the program have to log in every three hours, and there can also be random tests throughout the day. County officials are hoping that this gets to the root of the problem and help to prevent recidivism in DWIs.

Studies find shared custody best for child

When Ilinois parents decide divorce is the best option, determining child custody arrangements can be complex, and at times emotional. Since parents want what is best for their children, new studies encourage them to split custody whenever possible in order to seek the best outcome for the kids involved.

According to Science Daily, a study of more than 3,600 preschool-aged children in Sweden found that even very young children benefitted from sharing time between both of their parents. Parents and teachers of the children participants completed the "Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire" to assess any issues a child may have with their behavior or psychologically. Across the board, children who lived either mostly or only with one of their parents had more issues reported by both their teachers and their parents. Children who split their time between parents were no more likely than children whose parents still lived together to have any issues reported by a parent, although teachers reported the least number of issues for children who had parents who lived together.

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