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What Are the Most Common Types of Nursing Home Abuse?

 Posted on August 24, 2020 in Nursing Home Abuse

IL abuse lawyerNursing home abuse and neglect are tragically commonplace in Illinois and across the United States. It is difficult to know for sure the exact number of nursing home residents who are victims of abuse because many residents are unable to report the mistreatment they suffer. However, in one study, 44 percent of nursing home residents surveyed reported being abused while living in the facility. If you have a loved one living in a rehabilitation facility, assisted living facility, or nursing home, it is important to be vigilant for signs of abuse and neglect.

Physical Abuse Can Leave Physical and Mental Scars

It is hard to imagine someone hitting, pinching, kicking, or otherwise intentionally harming an elderly or disabled person, but physical abuse does happen in some long-term care facilities. Some nursing home staff become frustrated or angry when residents do not comply with orders or are otherwise obstinate. They may intentionally hurt the resident as a form of “punishment.” Unexplained bruises, lacerations, or other signs of trauma, as well as psychological symptoms like fear and anxiety, may be signs that a resident is begin physically assaulted. In some cases, the perpetrators of physical abuse are other residents at the facility.

Mental or Psychological Abuse Can Be Just as Harmful as Physical Abuse

Psychological, emotional, or mental abuse can be just as damaging to a resident’s wellbeing as physical violence. Examples of emotional abuse include mocking a resident, intentionally scaring a resident, embarrassing a resident, disallowing reasonable privacy, and other actions intended to demoralize or upset a resident. Recognizing mental abuse can often be tricky. Residents who suffer from Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, or other cognitive illnesses may become confused and accuse innocent staff of abusive or threatening behavior. However, it is essential to fully investigate any claim of mistreatment.

Financial Exploitation in Care Facilities

The Illinois Nursing Home Care Act gives nursing home residents the right to manage their own finances unless the resident or his or her guardian authorizes the facility to manage the resident’s financial affairs. Residents also have the right to keep their personal property in their living quarters unless a physician finds this to be inappropriate. Nursing home staff should not ask for personal loans or gifts from residents or take residents’ belongings. Under no circumstances should a staff member forge a resident’s signature or attempt to become a beneficiary in the resident’s estate plans.

Contact a Cook County Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer

If you or a loved one were abused while living in a nursing home or assisted living facility, contact Schwartz Injury Law to learn about your legal options. You or your loved one may be entitled to compensation. Call us at 312-535-4625 and schedule a free consultation and case evaluation with one of our dedicated Chicago nursing home injury attorneys.



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