Elder Abuse

While most nursing home injuries are due to neglect, whether passive or active negligence, there are some that involve intentional abuse. These are often the most traumatizing and sad cases, because they involve a family putting their trust in a nursing home to care for their vulnerable loved one, only to discover that someone has physically assaulted them, sexually abused them, or emotionally abused them. All of these are incredibly inappropriate, but they happen far more frequently than anyone would care to imagine. There are some basic signs you can watch for to tell you if your loved one may be a victim of nursing home abuse in southern Illinois.

  • Does he or she get nervous around certain employees?
  • When you ask about abuse, does your loved one refuse to talk or quickly change the subject?
  • Have other residents complained about mistreatment?
  • Are there physical signs of abuse, like unexplained bruises, black eyes, or defensive wounds on hands?
  • Does your loved one sometimes cry without cause and refuse to tell you why?
  • Have you seen or heard staff being aggressive or mean to residents during visits?
  • Does your loved one ask you (or even plead with you) not to complain about things?
  • Has he or she been diagnosed with an STI but cannot tell you or won’t tell you how they got it?

Obviously, none of these alone can be definitive proof of abuse, but the more you notice, the more likely something is going on. There are options for investigating things. First, you’ll want to speak to an attorney. Second, your attorney can help put you in touch with advocacy services, such as the Illinois Long term Care Ombudsman program. Finally, it may be best to simply have your loved one moved, if possible, to another facility. At that time, if indeed there was abuse going on at the old facility, hopefully your loved one will be more open to discussing it once away from any threat of retaliation.

Sadly, it is impossible to stop all forms of abuse and neglect in Illinois nursing homes. But taking quick action to protect your spouse or aging parent in a facility will often be the key to survival. Do not delay, call an experienced nursing home abuse lawyer today, and get a free consultation to discuss what is going on with your loved one.

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