Unfortunately, older people can be easy targets for abuse. This is often the case because of their declining physical and mental abilities. Elder abuse and neglect is far too common in nursing homes and assisted living facilities. Unfortunately, many cases are never reported due to the physical or mental inabilities of the victims along with the shame and embarrassment they may feel about the abuse.
If you suspect that an elderly family member has been a victim of abuse or neglect in a nursing home or assisted living facility, contact our legal team at Drake & Collopy, P.C., as soon as possible. We provide aggressive representation for victims of elder abuse in the Chicago area and throughout Illinois. Our mission is to hold those responsible accountable and to help your loved one recover the compensation they are entitled to.
Related Article: IS DEHYDRATION A SIGN OF NURSING HOME NEGLECT?
What is Elder Abuse?
Elder abuse can take a number of different forms. It includes any single or repeated action (or inaction) that results in distress or harm to an older individual. Generally, there is an expectation of trust and a pre-existing relationship between the older individual and the abuser. Unfortunately, it can be challenging to determine the full scope of the abuse due to underreporting as well as efforts to cover up the abuse by the abusive caregiver.
Below are some of the different classifications of elder abuse:
This is the most obvious form of elder abuse. It can include anything that causes physical harm to an elderly person from physical assault and battery to shutting a resident in their room or restraining them. Some of the signs of physical abuse include welts, burns, pressure marks, sores, bruises, broken bones, scrapes, cuts, head injuries, or concussions, which frequently go unreported.
Sometimes referred to as psychological or mental abuse, this can include verbal attacks, ignoring the elder, threatening them, or not allowing them to engage in pleasurable activities. Signs of emotional abuse include not speaking freely, isolation or withdrawal from other people, fear, anger, depression, or anxiety, or explaining injuries in ways that are highly unlikely.
Unfortunately, older people can sometimes be the victims of sexual abuse. This occurs if a caregiver forces an elderly individual to watch or take part in a sexual act. Signs of sexual abuse include inappropriate relations between the two parties, genital bleeding, pain or irritation, bruises near the thighs or genitals, or an unexplained STD.
Financial abuse of an elder can include a caregiver using their bank account, forging checks, or using their credit cards. It can also include changes made to names on the senior’s will, property title, or life insurance policy.
Some signs of financial abuse include unexplainable purchases or transactions, substantial amounts of money missing, providing money or gifts for someone’s company, or a senior who cannot access their own financial records.
Neglect occurs when caregivers do not provide for the needs of an elderly person as they should. It includes the failure to provide for the medical, physical, social, or emotional needs of the elder. Some signs of neglect include bedsores or ulcers, weight loss or dehydration, the elder’s hygiene needs not being met, missing medical equipment, or living in unsanitary conditions.
Related Article: WARNING SIGNS OF NURSING HOME NEGLECT AND ABUSE
Contact Our Experienced Elder Abuse Attorneys in Chicago
If you suspect that your senior loved one is the victim of elder abuse, it should be reported to the proper authorities right away. Once you’ve done that, contact us without delay so we can investigate the case and get to work to hold those responsible accountable and to help your loved one recover the compensation they deserve. You can count on our experienced legal team to fight aggressively on behalf of your loved one.