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Warning Signs That Your Loved One is Being Abused in a Nursing Home

Posted on in Nursing Home Abuse

Illinois nursing home abuse attorneysResearch shows that nursing home abuse and is startlingly common across the United States. It is hard to believe that anyone would be intentionally cruel to an elderly or disabled person—let alone someone the individual has been assigned to care for—but it does happen. Sadly, many instances of abuse go unreported because residents are not physically or cognitively capable of reporting the mistreatment. If your loved one is living in a long-term care facility, you may worry about whether he or she is being treated with the care and respect he or she deserves. There are several warning signs that families should be on the lookout for that could indicate that their loved one is being harmed in a nursing home.

Red Flags of Physical Abuse and Sexual Abuse

Although many studies have been conducted to better understand nursing home abuse, the true extent of the problem is still unknown. In one survey, 44 percent of nursing home residents reported being abused at a facility, and 38 percent reported witnessing other residents being abused. Physical abuse includes kicking, hitting, punching, slapping, and other acts of physical violence. Sexual abuse includes unwanted sexual contact, sexual assault, and indecent exposure.

Some warning signs that a nursing home resident is being physically or sexually abused include:

  • Unexplained bruises, welts, cuts, broken bones, or other injuries
  • >Increased agitation and isolation
  • Increased startle response and jumpiness
  • Visible fear or nervousness around certain staff members
  • Frequent or recurring urinary tract infections
  • Vaginal or anal bleeding or bruising
  • Self-soothing behaviors like rocking, thumb sucking, or mumbling

Some of these could be completely unrelated to abuse, but if one or more become apparent, it may be time to start asking some serious questions.

Warning Signs of Emotional Abuse

Not all abuse is physical in nature. Psychological or emotional abuse can be just as damaging to a nursing home resident’s well-being as physical abuse. Examples of emotional abuse include yelling, threatening, humiliating, intimidating, or frightening a resident. A nursing home resident may be suffering from emotional abuse if he or she exhibits significant changes in mood or behavior or is afraid to spend time with certain nursing home workers.

Resident-on-resident abuse is another concern in some nursing facilities. With this in mind, residents should be closely monitored by staff in order to prevent residents from harming each other.

Contact a Cook County Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer

Nursing home residents should be treated with attentiveness and compassion. If you have reason to suspect that your loved one has been physically, sexually, or emotionally abused while staying in a nursing home, contact Schwartz Injury Law for help. Call our office at 312-535-4625 and schedule a free consultation to discuss your concerns with an experienced Chicago nursing home injury lawyer.

 

Source:

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

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