Everyone would like to think that they would be able to identify whether their loved one has been harmed by a staff member or another person at their nursing home. Unfortunately, many cases of nursing home abuse go undetected and unreported1 and victims often suffer in silence. There are many reasons why a nursing home abuse victim may not report an incident or pattern of abuse, including intimidation by the abuser or lack of mental capacity to do so. Because so many cases go unnoticed, the statistics regarding nursing home abuse are likely low estimates.
If you have a loved one in a nursing home, the most important step to keep them safe is to visit and talk to them often and let them know they can trust you if anything should be wrong. In addition, you should always be extremely vigilant regarding the common signs of nursing home abuse. These can include:
- Injuries or wounds in different stages of healing (bedsores)
- Unsatisfactory explanations for how injuries or wounds occurred
- Changes in the personality of your loved one, including social withdrawal or childlike behavior
- Apparent fear of physical contact
- Apparent fear of certain staff or residents in the nursing home
- Stained or torn clothing or bedding
- Signs of malnutrition
- Signs that your loved one has been restrained
- Staff members who do not want you to visit with your loved one alone
These are only some of many different warning signs that may indicate that your loved one has been mistreated and harmed in their nursing home.
If you believe abuse has occurred, you should never hesitate to report it to through the proper channels, including the nursing home administration, law enforcement authorities and the Illinois Department of Public Health. You may want to immediately remove your loved one from that facility if you believe the threat of abuse persists.
Call a Chicago Nursing Home Abuse Law Firm as Soon as Possible
Victims of nursing home abuse have the legal right to recover for the pain and suffering they endured and any losses due to medical care or other costs. Please discuss any concerns with the compassionate nursing home attorneys at Abels & Annes, P.C. Call for a free and confidential consultation at (312) 924-7575.