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My Parent in an Illinois Nursing Home Has Strange Bruises. What Should I Do? 

Posted on in Nursing Home Abuse

shutterstock_1062952382.jpgAs our bodies age, the internal and external tissues become more fragile and can get damaged more easily. When compounded with mobility issues, bruising and other superficial injuries are often commonly seen on elderly Illinois nursing home patients, even when they receive the best care. However, persistent bruises that seem to be in odd places may be a sign that something more serious is going on. 

While it is hard to imagine someone deliberately abusing an elderly nursing home resident, such unfortunate incidents do happen. It is important for friends and family members who have a loved one in a residential care facility to be on the alert for strange or suspicious bruising, fractures, or other unexplained injuries. If you are worried that your loved one may be suffering from physical abuse, it is important to take action right away. 

Injuries of Unknown Source

Nursing homes and other residential care facilities are required by federal law to document injuries sustained by their patients. If an injury was allegedly not observed or cannot be explained by nursing home staff, it is considered an “injury of unknown source.” Nursing homes must also include details describing where the injury occurred, how severe the injury was, and whether there was more than one injury discovered at once or whether the injuries seem to occur in a pattern over an extended period of time. 

However, when nursing home staff are overworked or improperly trained, they may not be aware that an injury appears abnormal. They may be unsure whether an injury requires further inquiry or documentation, or they may cover up for friends or supervisors whom they suspect of abuse. Workplace culture, staff training, and staff-to-resident ratios are all important for preventing and catching nursing home abuse. 

Signs that Bruising Could Indicate Abuse or Neglect

While elderly residents can be expected to bruise more often, here are some signs that may indicate there is a problem: 

  • Chronic bruising

  • Bruises recurring in the same places, especially if those bruises appear to be in places easily hidden by clothing

  • Suspiciously shaped bruises that could be finger, knuckle, or fist marks

  • Bruises that may be a result of improper restraint

  • Bruises caused by falls due to improper monitoring or mobility assistance 

  • Bruises that seem not to heal

Call an Experienced Nursing Home Injuries and Abuse Lawyer

While elderly bodies naturally bruise more easily, unexplained bruises can be a warning sign that serious abuse may be taking place at your loved one’s nursing home. If you are concerned about bruising that appears unnatural or concerning, speak with an experienced Cook County nursing home injuries lawyer with Schwartz Injury Law. We have the tools and the skill to investigate whether an incident may be a sign of nursing home elder abuse. Call us today at 312-535-4625 to schedule a free, confidential consultation. 

 

Source: 

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

 

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