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IL abuse lawyerWhen you hear the term “nursing home abuse,” you may assume that the term abuse is referring to physical violence aimed at elderly and disabled nursing home residents. Sadly, physical abuse, psychological abuse, and sexual abuse of vulnerable nursing home residents is a major problem in Illinois and throughout the United States. One type of abuse you may not have heard as much about is financial abuse. Financial exploitation of elderly and disabled individuals in a nursing home not only results in economic losses, it can also cause a great deal of personal suffering for the victim and his or her family.

Examples of Financial Exploitation

Most nursing home residents have physical disabilities or cognitive disabilities like Alzheimer’s disease and dementia that make them dependent on nursing home staff. Many need a substantial amount of assistance with daily living tasks like toileting and eating as well as help with medication and other healthcare needs. Tragically, sometimes the individuals that residents trust the most to care for them are the ones who take advantage of their vulnerability. The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) states that financial abuse is one of the most widespread forms of elder abuse. It is estimated that one out of every five elderly people has been a victim of elder financial exploitation. Some of the most common forms of elder financial abuse include:

  • Stealing residents’ cash or property
  • Tricking residents into signing financial or estate planning documents
  • Coercing residents into turning over cash or personal checks
  • Stealing a resident’s identity for financial gain
  • Conning residents through the use of pyramid schemes and other scams
  • Using threats or intimidation to force residents into financial transactions

Holding Negligent Nursing Homes Accountable

The Illinois Nursing Home Care Act, as well as federal legislation, protects nursing home residents from mistreatment and abuse. One of the rights protected by the Nursing Home Care Act is the right of residents to manage their own financial affairs. Even if a nursing home has the authorization to manage a resident’s money on his or her behalf, they must do so ethically and within the boundaries of the law. The act also gives residents the right to have access to their own personal property. If you believe that your loved one has been the victim of financial exploitation, do not hesitate to take action. Contact an experienced nursing home abuse and neglect lawyer to learn about your legal options for holding the nursing home facility accountable for its wrongful and negligent actions.

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IL nursing home abuse attorneyIt is hard to believe that someone would ever intentionally harm a nursing home resident. Sadly, nursing home neglect and abuse happens in long-term care facilities across the country. Psychological abuse, mental abuse, and emotional abuse can be especially insidious forms of nursing home abuse. Because so many nursing home residents suffer from cognitive decline, they may be unable to report this mistreatment. Relatives of nursing home residents are often unaware of psychological abuse because it does not result in bruises or other noticeable injuries the way physical abuse typically does. However, there are several warning signs of nursing home mental abuse that you should be watchful for.

Be Vigilant for Changes in Personality and Behavior

If your loved one has dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, he or she may be unable to express or even remember the type of treatment he or she receives from nursing home staff. Because you cannot simply ask the resident about the quality of care he or she is receiving, you will have to look for changes in your loved one’s mood and behavior that could indicate that something is wrong. If the resident cowers, fidgets, or acts nervous when a certain staff member walks into the room, this could be an indication that the resident has suffered abuse at the hands of that staff member. Other signs of mental abuse include:

  • Loss of interest or enthusiasm in things that the resident used to enjoy
  • Unusual behavior such as thumb sucking or rocking back and forth
  • Avoidance of eye contact
  • Increased agitation and irritability
  • Refusal of food and water

Speak to Staff About Your Concerns

If you have noticed changes in your loved one’s behavior or mood, speak to staff about your concerns. Staff should be fully willing to discuss these concerns with you. Staff who are offended or annoyed by questions about a resident’s health may have something to hide. Contradictory statements about a resident’s health or behavior may also be signs of neglect or abuse. If nursing home staff refuse to let you be alone with your loved one, this is a major red flag.

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Chicago nursing home abuse attorneysNursing home abuse and neglect is disturbingly common. Sadly, nursing home residents across the country are subjected to cruel treatment and denied necessary care. Sometimes, nursing home neglect or abuse is so severe that it even results in the death of a resident.

If you have a loved one in a nursing home, you may spend hours and hours wondering about the quality of care he or she is receiving in the facility. You may worry that substandard care or intentional mistreatment will cause your loved one to needlessly suffer. These concerns may be exacerbated by your loved one’s inability to communicate with you about the type of care he or she is receiving. In response to these worries, some people choose to install a camera in their loved one’s room at the nursing home.   

Why Do People Install Cameras in Nursing Homes?

It is hard to know for sure how many innocent nursing home residents are subjected to mistreatment in the United States. Across the country, it is widely recognized that many nursing home facilities are exceedingly understaffed. Because of this, many residents do not receive the medical attention and personal help they need to be safe. Even worse, some nursing home staff intentionally subject residents to physical, psychological, or sexual abuse.

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Illinois nursing home injury attorneysIf you are like most people with a loved one living in a nursing home, you think about your loved one often. You may worry about whether or not your loved one is safe and well cared for or whether he or she is comfortable living in the facility. One major concern for elderly individuals is the risk of serious injuries, including fractures and broken bones. A young, healthy person may sustain a broken bone and suffer no long-lasting negative health consequences as a result. However, because many residents’ bodies are weakened by age or illness, a broken bone can be life-altering or even life-threatening. If your loved one has suffered a broken bone while living in a nursing home, there are several things you should keep in mind.

Causes of Fractures and Broken Bones in a Nursing Home

Elderly individuals often suffer from conditions such as osteoporosis that make their bones more susceptible to breaking. This is one reason that it is so important for nursing home facilities to do everything in their power to prevent break injuries.

A fracture or broken bone could be caused by a number of unacceptable scenarios, including but not limited to:

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Illinois nursing home abuse attorneysResearch shows that nursing home abuse and is startlingly common across the United States. It is hard to believe that anyone would be intentionally cruel to an elderly or disabled person—let alone someone the individual has been assigned to care for—but it does happen. Sadly, many instances of abuse go unreported because residents are not physically or cognitively capable of reporting the mistreatment. If your loved one is living in a long-term care facility, you may worry about whether he or she is being treated with the care and respect he or she deserves. There are several warning signs that families should be on the lookout for that could indicate that their loved one is being harmed in a nursing home.

Red Flags of Physical Abuse and Sexual Abuse

Although many studies have been conducted to better understand nursing home abuse, the true extent of the problem is still unknown. In one survey, 44 percent of nursing home residents reported being abused at a facility, and 38 percent reported witnessing other residents being abused. Physical abuse includes kicking, hitting, punching, slapping, and other acts of physical violence. Sexual abuse includes unwanted sexual contact, sexual assault, and indecent exposure.

Some warning signs that a nursing home resident is being physically or sexually abused include:

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