It’s important to remember that you know your senior loved one better than anyone else. You will also know when something isn’t right. Because of this, it is essential that you trust your instincts and take action if you suspect he or she is a victim of nursing home neglect or abuse. If you don’t take action, the abuse may continue and may lead to serious injuries to your loved one and other residents at the nursing home.
While you may think that this would never happen, it’s worth noting that one to two million Americans ages 65 and older are the victims of abuse by a caregiver, which includes caregivers in nursing home settings.
In some situations, there are obvious signs of nursing home neglect or abuse. Knowing what actions to take in these situations is far from clear, however. Because of this, we encourage you to get in touch with our legal team at Drake & Collopy, P.C. to discuss your situation and options. Our experienced team of attorneys can help determine the appropriate course of action and your legal options. We are dedicated to seeking justice for nursing home neglect and abuse victims throughout Illinois.
Getting to Know the Signs of Nursing Home Abuse
There are a number of signs of nursing home abuse to watch out for. Some of the most common indications something isn’t right include:
- Bad or strange odors throughout the facility
- Unexplained or sudden weight loss
- Unexplained cuts or bruises
- Unresponsive or withdrawn family member
- Access to your loved one is restricted
- Unexplained or sudden personality changes
If you believe there is something wrong and that it could be neglect or abuse, your first step is to contact the authorities and to file a complaint with the Illinois Department of Public Health. After the authorities have been notified, reach out to our legal team. We can investigate the situation, collect the necessary evidence, and ensure the nursing home is held accountable for any wrongful actions they have taken.
Along with the general signs of nursing home abuse or neglect mentioned above, there are more specific warning signs to be aware of.
Signs of Physical Abuse in Nursing Homes
Physical abuse includes any type of intentional act that causes pain, bodily injury, or some type of impairment. It can include cutting, burning, or hitting a resident, the use of improper or excessive restraints, or forcing a resident to take medication or eat food without their consent.
Some of the physical signs of abuse include:
- Hair loss
- Bleeding, bruising, or bandages
- Feces or urine odors, poor hygiene, or soiling
- Open wounds, cuts, and bed sores
- Additional or severe infections
- Broken personal belongings like hearing aids or eyeglasses
- Bloody, stained, or torn clothing or bedding
- Poor cleaning in living quarters and cleaning materials that aren’t put away
- Ligature marks around the ankles, wrists, mouth, or throat
- Abrasions or burns
- Sudden changes in their weight
In some situations, physical abuse may include some type of sexual abuse. Sometimes, residents who suffer from conditions like aphasia, dementia, or Alzheimer’s disease will not be able to verbally relate any sort of neglect or physical or sexual abuse to their loved ones.
Signs of Emotional Abuse in Nursing Homes
Psychological or emotional abuse is another form of abuse that occurs in nursing homes. This includes actions that result in emotional or mental pain, distress, or anguish via intimidation, isolation, humiliation, or threats. Unfortunately, cases of this type of abuse can be difficult to detect. Some of the warning signs to look out for include:
- Disappearance of personal items
- Unresponsiveness or listlessness
- Unusual rocking, biting, or sucking
- Complaints about harassment, humiliation, threats, etc.
- Nervousness around certain staff members or residents
- Emotional or physical withdrawal, depression, or the unwillingness to talk
- Infantile or other unusual behaviors
- Unusual and sudden financial transactions
- Exclusion from activities or social isolation
Contact Our Legal Team to Help with Your Nursing Home Abuse Case
If you suspect your loved one is a victim of nursing home abuse, contact our legal team at Drake & Collopy, P.C. today. Our experienced nursing home abuse attorneys can investigate the situation, gather evidence, and ensure the responsible parties are held accountable.
We understand how difficult and trying this type of situation can be and are here to help. There’s no reason for you or your loved one to suffer from the consequences of nursing home neglect or abuse. Not only is it inappropriate, but it is also illegal. We encourage your to get in touch with us right away to discuss your situation. We are here to help if you and your loved one find yourself in this difficult situation.