As our loved ones age, we need to make sure their health and well-being are taken care of. For some residents of Chicago, this means placing their loved one in a nursing home so that their loved one’s medical and self-care needs are met. While this may not be an easy decision to make, for many it is the best way to ensure their elderly loved one is properly cared for.
Unfortunately, nursing home abuse and even nursing home deaths occur with alarming regularity. It is important to be alert to the signs of abuse so you can protect your loved one.
What are some signs of elder abuse? First of all, be on the lookout for physical injuries. Bone fractures, cuts, burns and bruises could all indicate that physical abuse or mistreatment is occurring. Injuries to a resident’s breasts or genitals could indicate sexual abuse. And bedsores or a lack of hygiene could indicate that the resident is being neglected.
That being said, not all signs of abuse are physical. If a nursing home resident withdraws from his or her regular activities, is unusually depressed or is less alert than usual, this could be a sign of emotional abuse. In addition, certain negative behaviors on the part of nursing home staff, such as the use of threats or belittling residents could indicate emotional abuse.
Nursing home neglect and abuse should be addressed as soon as possible. In the worst of circumstances, abuse and neglect could ultimately lead to a nursing home death. When this happens, it is important for the victim’s loved ones to explore all their legal options, including the possibility of pursuing a lawsuit for wrongful death. An Illinois elder abuse attorney may be able to provide interested individuals with more information about nursing home negligence and wrongful death.
Source: Administration for Community Living, “What is Elder Abuse?,” Accessed Dec. 6, 2015