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How to Recognize Possible Abuse in a Nursing Home

Posted on in Nursing Home Abuse

b2ap3_thumbnail_nursing-home-woman-sad-neglect-abuse.jpgWhen a loved one requires the type of care that is only available in a nursing home or similar long-term care facilities, it is understandable for you to trust that he or she will be properly cared for. Nursing facilities, after all, employ trained medical professionals and other staff members whose primary responsibilities are to address the needs of the patients under their care. Sadly, many nursing home patients do not receive the care they need. Many others are subjected to treatment that might even qualify as neglect or abuse. If you have a loved one in a nursing home, there are some things you can look for that might be potential indicators of abuse or neglect.

Many Residents, Many Concerns

There are more than 100,000 Illinois residents currently living in nursing homes and long-term care facilities in Illinois. The figure is expected to continue to grow, as recent estimates suggest that nearly half of Americans will require a nursing home stay at least once during their lives. Unfortunately, the high number of residents translates to a high number of patients who are likely to be abused or neglected, some of whom might suffer severe injuries or death as a result.

In order to best protect your loved ones, it is important that you visit regularly and look for any of the following signs of neglect:

  • Fear of being alone with caregivers or staff members;
  • Dehydration or malnutrition that cannot be explained by a diagnosed illness or disease;
  • Unexplained bruises or sores;
  • Poor personal hygiene and cleanliness;
  • Lack of dental care;
  • Torn or dirty clothing;
  • Fatigue or listlessness;
  • Uncharacteristic anger or moodiness; and
  • Reports from your loved one that he or she is left alone for long periods.

This list is not comprehensive, so keep in mind that any injury or illness sickness or injury that cannot be easily explained should also be documented and questioned thoroughly. Approximately one-third of the nation’s nursing homes have documented instances of neglect or abuse, according to various studies. Many more cases, it is believed, never get reported. According to statistics compiled by the National Center on Elder Abuse, an estimated 91 percent of nursing homes across the country are understaffed, meaning that millions of residents could be in danger.

Other Kinds of Abuse

While physical and emotional abuse are certainly serious problems, financial abuse is also extremely common. There are many ways that an elderly person can be financially abused, especially if the nursing home staff has been given access to the person’s bank accounts or credit cards. Be sure to review your loved one’s finances on a regular basis looking for signs of inappropriate or unapproved spending. You should also check each bill from the nursing home carefully to be sure your loved one is not being billed for services that have not been rendered and other irregularities.

Contact a Chicago Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer

If you suspect that your loved one has been neglected or abused while he or she was a resident in a nursing home, an experienced Illinois nursing home abuse attorney can help. Contact Schwartz Injury Law to discuss your case and to explore the available options for taking action. Call 312-535-4625 for a free consultation today.

 

Sources:

http://www.dph.illinois.gov/topics-services/health-care-regulation/nursing-homes

http://www.statisticbrain.com/elderly-abuse-statistics/

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