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Illinois nursing home abuse attorneysNursing home residents deserve to be treated with compassion and respect. Sadly, some nursing home residents suffer abuse and neglect at the hands of the very people who are supposed to protect them. Nursing home abuse and neglect can take many different forms, and it is often difficult to recognize. Some residents stay silent about nursing home neglect and abuse because they fear retaliation. Others are uninformed of their rights and do not recognize that the poor treatment they are receiving is against the law. Residents with impaired cognition caused by dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease may be unable to report instances of neglect and abuse. For these reasons, it is important for everyone with a loved one in a nursing home facility to be watchful for signs of neglect and abuse.

Physical Abuse Symptoms in a Nursing Home

The most obvious signs of physical abuse in a nursing home are bruises, cuts, scrapes, and other injuries. However, many nursing home residents are frail or in poor health. They may bruise easily or receive minor injuries from everyday tasks. Not every injury is a sign of nursing home abuse, however, minor injuries like these are often the first sign of mistreatment in a nursing home. Residents may suffer from intentional abuse or they may be injured because staff were negligent when caring for the resident. If your loved one has an injury, staff should be willing to discuss the injury with you. If staff seem defensive or are uninterested in determining the cause of an injury, this may be a sign that they are hiding something.

Sadly, some nursing home residents are victims of sexual abuse. When an elderly or disabled person experiences impaired cognition, they are not able to give consent to sexual activities. Victims of sexual abuse may become withdrawn, fearful, and anxious. They may avoid certain staff members and exhibit behavioral and mood changes. Bruises and other injuries near the breasts and genitals, blood in a resident’s underwear, and sexually transmitted infections may all be signs of sexual abuse.

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Illinois nursing home abuse attorneysIf you have a loved one who is currently living in a nursing home, you expect that the facility will provide a high level of care based on your loved one’s needs. Many nursing home residents, as you probably know, are already dealing with a wide range of physical, mental, or behavioral conditions that necessitate the around-the-clock care that nursing homes provide. For some residents, however, things are made even more difficult. Sadly, physical abuse is not unheard of in nursing homes, and such abuse can be extremely serious.

Physical Abuse by Staff Members

It is no secret that staffing is a problem in many nursing homes. Chronic understaffing has long been associated with significant drops in employee morale, as well as concerns regarding proper training and patient care protocols. In short, far too many nursing homes are left with staff members who are overworked, underpaid, and, often, ill-equipped to handle their patients. Unfortunately, some staff members take their frustrations out on their patients.

According to research compiled by the National Center on Elder Abuse, more than 50 percent of nursing home staff admitted to the mistreatment of their elderly patients. While two-thirds of these admissions reportedly involved neglect, this still means that about 17 percent admitted to physically mistreating patients under their care.

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