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Illinois Nursing Home Residents Are at High Risk of Physical Abuse

Posted on in Nursing Home Abuse

chicago nursing home abuse lawyerWhen a family has to decide whether to put a beloved and respected elder in a nursing home, it is often a heartbreaking and difficult choice. A family must place enormous trust in a residential care facility’s ability to provide medical care, physical safety, financial security, and a healthy daily routine for a parent or grandparent. 

Unfortunately, nursing home staff do not always treat residents with dignity and respect. Understaffed and overstressed employees often do not have the time or the energy to monitor every patient sufficiently and it can be easy for an abused patient’s symptoms or complaints to go unnoticed. This is especially true when a patient suffers from dementia or another condition that makes it hard to speak or discuss a problem in detail. It is essential for the families of nursing home residents to be aware of signs of physical abuse so if it is present, it can be stopped and justice can be pursued with the help of a nursing home abuse attorney. 

Signs of Nursing Home Physical Abuse 

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services considers elder abuse to be intentional or negligent behavior that causes harm to a vulnerable adult. Research suggests that victims of elder abuse are more than two times as likely to die prematurely compared to people who do not suffer from elder abuse. 

Physical elder abuse in nursing homes is a particularly insidious form of abuse because elders are vulnerable and cannot protect themselves from injury. Physical abuse includes: 

  • Kicking, hitting, punching, pinching, or slapping 

  • Neglecting a resident’s physical needs, like food or water

  • Failing to take a resident to the bathroom 

  • Misusing or overusing physical restraint 

  • Preventing a resident from accessing their medication 

  • Allowing a resident to fall or stumble on purpose

Signs that your loved one may be suffering from physical abuse include: 

  • Unexplained bruises, cuts, scrapes, or contusions

  • Fractured or broken bones

  • Sudden weight loss and other signs of malnutrition or dehydration

  • Signs of restraint, like bruising around the wrists and ankles

  • Signs that a resident is not getting their medicine

  • Broken glasses or other unusual damage to personal belongings 

  • A refusal to allow the resident to be alone with family 

While it is not easy to contemplate this kind of behavior happening to someone you love, it is essential to recognize signs and symptoms and address them right away. 

Contact a Cook County Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer

Even the suspicion that your loved one may be the victim of physical abuse can be horrifying. If you suspect or feel certain that someone is abusing a family member at their Illinois residential care center, consider speaking with an experienced Cook County nursing home abuse attorney right away. At Schwartz Injury Law, we take every case seriously and offer no-risk consultations so you can get a better sense of whether a lawsuit is appropriate. Call us today at 312-535-4625 to schedule your appointment. 

 

Sources: 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK98786/ 

https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs5.asp?ActID=1225&ChapterID=21 

 

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