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Protecting Elderly Family Members from Nursing Home Abuse

Posted on in Medical Malpractice

Illinois Medical Malpractice Lawyer

For many Americans, there comes a time when they must consider placing elderly loved ones into the care of a nursing home. When doing so, we place our trust in the facility and its staff. Tragically, some elder care facilities neglect this trust, as more than two million elderly Americans face some form of abuse every year. 

If you believe your loved one is a victim of some form of nursing home abuse, it is critical you consult with a legal team immediately to discuss your options. 

Types of Elderly Abuse 

When trying to identify signs and symptoms of abuse, it is important to fully understand the various forms of abuse elderly Americans face:

Physical Abuse: This can be defined as the use of physical force in order to cause harm or pain. Physical abuse is not uncommon in nursing homes across the country. Fortunately, the signs of physical abuse are easier to recognize than other forms of elder abuse. Next time you visit your loved one, look out for bruises, cuts, and welts. 

Emotional Abuse: Most often displayed through verbal means of belittling a resident, emotional abuse is the most common form of elderly abuse. According to the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA), verbal mistreatment accounts for just under 10 percent of all elderly abuse throughout the United States. Identifying signs of emotional abuse can be difficult, but symptoms include changes in behavior, rapid mood swings, and social isolation. 

Sexual Abuse: While more uncommon than the forms of elderly abuse mentioned above, sexual abuse still occurs in nursing home facilities. Sexual abuse is defined as the act of intentionally violating a nursing home resident in a sexual manner. The vast majority of sexual elder abuse cases are perpetrated against residents who are no longer able to provide consent. 

Pursuing Legal Action

Here in Illinois, nursing homes are monitored by the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH). If an employee of an elderly care facility performs an act of elderly abuse, it is likely the IDPH will conduct a formal investigation. If the investigation concludes a staff-member acted negligently or abusively, it is possible the facility could lose its license. Because of this, many nursing home facilities will attempt to cover up cases of abuse. If you believe your elderly loved one has endured negligent care or overt abuse, it is time to seek legal assistance. 

Contact a Lake County Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer 

When you place a loved one in a nursing home, the staff is responsible for their well-being and quality of life, and negligent or reckless actions should come with legal ramifications. Unfortunately, those who need help the most are often the most vulnerable, as approximately 50 percent of all elderly Americans with dementia face some form of abuse. With years of experience pursuing financial compensation from facilities that violate Illinois public health codes, Salvi and Maher, L.L.C. is here to help. To set up a free consultation with a Waukegan medical malpractice attorney, call us today at 847-662-3303. 

Sources:

https://ncea.acl.gov/whatwedo/research/statistics.html

http://www.dph.illinois.gov/topics-services/health-care-regulation/nursing-homes

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