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Recognizing the Signs of Nursing Home Abuse in Patients with Alzheimer’s or Dementia

 Posted on October 29, 2020 in Dementia

Illinois nursing home abuse attorneysNursing home neglect and abuse is a tragic reality. Everyone hopes that nursing home staff will treat their loved ones with the respect and compassion that they deserve. Sadly, not all nursing home staff meet this expectation. Physical, emotional, psychological, and sexual abuse can happen to any nursing home resident. However, residents with cognitive decline caused by Alzheimer’s disease or dementia are often particularly at risk for abuse. Even worse, such residents are often not capable of telling anyone about the abuse.

Physical Abuse

Physical abuse may take the form of hitting, slapping, pinching, or kicking. It may also take the form of rough handling residents when transferring them in and out of beds or wheelchairs. If your loved one has bruises, cuts, or other physical injuries that staff cannot explain, this may be a sign that the staff have abused him or her. Of course, not every physical injury is a sign of abuse. Sometimes, an injury is simply the result of the resident bumping against furniture. However, if staff members seem agitated by your concerns or refuse to discuss your loved one’s injuries with you, this may be a sign that they have something to hide.

Psychological or Emotional Abuse

Sadly, some nursing home staff intentionally scare, embarrass, or isolate residents. If your loved one exhibits signs of fear toward staff – especially if the fear is directed at a particular staff member- this may be a sign of abuse. Sudden changes in behavior or child-like behaviors like rocking and thumb sucking may also be signs of abuse. Suffers of Alzheimer’s and dementia often become confused and believe that someone is harming them even if they are not actually in danger. However, it is important to believe your loved one and investigate any reports of mistreatment or signs of abuse.

Sexual Abuse

It is hard to believe that anyone would sexually take advantage of a someone as vulnerable as a nursing home resident with dementia, but sexual abuse in nursing homes does occur. Sexual abuse may be at the hands of visitors to the facility, other residents, or staff. If you find out that your loved one has contracted a sexually transmitted infection (STI), this is a huge red flag. Other signs that a resident has suffered sexual abuse include bruises in the genital or breast area, vaginal or rectal bleeding, agitation or depression, difficulty walking or sitting down, and torn or blood-stained clothing.

Contact a Cook County Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer

If you believe that your loved one was the victim of nursing home abuse, take immediate steps to protect his or her safety. Once your loved one is safe, contact a Chicago nursing home injury attorney at Schwartz Injury Law. Call 312-535-4625 and schedule a free, confidential consultation today.



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