The majority of nursing homes in Illinois and Missouri provide their residents with the care and support they need. Unfortunately, elder abuse has become much more common in recent years, and it often occurs in nursing homes. Many people know this, which is why placing a loved one in a facility is such a difficult decision to make.
Contact Jerome, Salmi & Kopis, LLC today for a nursing home abuse and neglect attorney who cares.
Due to the fact that some elders require around the clock care and need to live in a nursing home, it is important to understand the signs of nursing home abuse, and how to stop it from occurring. If your family member has already become a victim of nursing home abuse, speak to our nursing home abuse and neglect attorney in Illinois and Missouri.
Forms of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect
Nursing home abuse is generally described as any action or inaction that results in a resident suffering harm. Unfortunately, this abuse can take many forms. The most common forms of nursing home abuse are as follows:
- Physical abuse: Any time physical force is used on nursing home residents, it is abuse. Pushing, shoving, biting, shaking, slapping, kicking, and burning are just a few forms physical abuse takes inside nursing homes.
- Emotional or psychological abuse: Emotional and psychological abuse involves using verbal or non-verbal means to inflict pain or distress on nursing home residents. Verbal assaults, insults, intimidation, threats, and humiliating residents are all common forms of emotional and psychological abuse.
- Sexual abuse: Sexual abuse occurs more frequently in nursing homes than many people think. Just as when this type of abuse occurs outside of a nursing home, inside a facility it involves any sexual contact with a nursing home resident, without the victim’s permission. Sexual assault, forced intercourse, unwanted touching, and coerced nudity are all just some forms of sexual abuse.
- Financial abuse: Financial abuse occurs when someone, usually a staff member in the nursing home, gains access to a resident’s property, assets, or money using illegal or deceptive means. Forging signatures and forcing residents to sign documents they cannot understand are just two common forms of financial abuse.
- Abandonment: Abandonment occurs when a nursing home resident is deserted by those that are trusted to care for them.
- Neglect: While many forms of nursing home abuse are intentional, this is not always the case. Neglect occurs any time a resident does not receive the quality care they need to live a comfortable and happy life. The most common examples of neglect include nursing home residents that are not provided with appropriate food, water, clothing, shelter, medicine, or proper hygiene.
- Self-neglect: Some seniors refuse to care for themselves properly, such as taking regular baths. Even in these cases, nursing home staff members are responsible for ensuring nursing home residents get the care they need.
Regardless of the type of abuse your loved one may be suffering from, it is crucial that you speak to a nursing home abuse and neglect attorney right away. An attorney can help your loved one claim the compensation they deserve for their losses, and will help you put a stop to the abuse immediately.
Signs of Abuse and Neglect Inside Nursing Homes
Loved ones typically start to suspect nursing home abuse when they notice changes in their loved one’s personality or behavior, or when they notice tension or conflict between their family member and their caregiver. If you start to suspect nursing home abuse, it is important to continue looking for signs of abuse. The most common of these are as follows:
- Unexplained injuries, such as dislocations, broken bones, or sprains
- Scars, bruises, or welts on the body
- Restraint marks on the wrists or ankles
- Broken eyeglasses
- Unusual behavior, such as regular rocking or mumbling
- Witnessing controlling or threatening behavior from one or more staff members
- Genital infections or sexually transmitted diseases that are unexplained
- Bloody, torn, or stained underwear
- Unsafe or unsanitary living conditions
- Not being dressed suitably for weather conditions
- Sudden dehydration or weight loss
- Unexplained withdrawals from financial accounts or changes to an elder’s estate plan
- Lack of medical care
Regular visits from loved ones are crucial for nursing home residents, as it is only during these visits that family members can look for signs of abuse. If you do spot signs of abuse, it is then critical to know what to do about it.
What to Do if You Suspect Neglect or Abuse
First learning of or suspecting nursing home abuse is very shocking. You may know you must take action, but may not understand what steps to take. The first thing you should do is speak to a staff member about your concerns. There may be a valid reason for the signs you saw. If the staff member cannot provide you with a reasonable explanation, you should then take further action.
If it is an emergency situation, call the police immediately. Your loved one may be in danger and you may have to remove them from the home. Police can help you with this move, particularly if the staff members in the nursing home are trying to interfere. Once your loved one is out of the home, contact your local ombudsman and file a complaint about the nursing home. The ombudsman will conduct an investigation into the alleged abuse and take the necessary steps to ensure it does not happen again.
Contact Our Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Attorney
in Illinois and Missouri Today
If you suspect that your loved one is being abused, our Illinois and Missouri nursing home abuse and neglect attorney can help. At the Law Office of Jerome Salmi Kopis, LLC, our seasoned attorney will review your case for free and help you claim the full damages your family deserves. Call us today at (618) 726-2222 or fill out our online form to schedule a free consultation.