5 Signs of Nursing Home Abuse
Nursing home abuse is abhorrent, and it is hard to understand why anyone would want to harm the most vulnerable amongst us. However, this type of abuse is not uncommon. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately one out of every 10 elders over the age of 60 have been abused. The CDC says that there are many types of abuse that an elderly person can face in a nursing home. This includes the following:
- Physical abuse
- Sexual abuse
- Emotional abuse
- Financial abuse
It is vital that family members of those in nursing homes be able to recognize the signs of abuse so they can take action to protect the ones they love. Here, the Chicago nursing home abuse lawyers at Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates want to discuss the five signs that abuse may be occurring in a nursing home.
1. Unexplained injuries or bruising
Physical abuse will often reveal itself through unexplained injuries such as skin tears, bruising, cuts, and more. While it is not uncommon for an elderly person to bruise easily, when it becomes a pattern, it could be a sign that abuse is occurring. Ask about how the injuries have occurred, and be wary of any answers that do not make sense.
2. Sudden changes in mood or behavior
You know your loved one better than anyone, so if there are any sudden changes in their behavior, you will likely notice. If your loved one shows signs of anxiety, fear, embarrassment, agitation, depression, or anger, it could be a sign that abuse has occurred. Even if there are no physical signs of abuse, this does not mean there has not been emotional abuse.
3. Malnutrition or dehydration
When nursing home staff neglects the basic needs of residents, there could be signs of deterioration. This could include changes in weight and overall health of your loved one. Some of the most common signs of neglect can include dry mouth, swollen tongue, weakness, reduced urination, cracked and dry lips, and more.
4. Poor hygiene or sanitation
If you visit your loved one in the nursing home and notice that the room is dirty, or that the bedding or clothes are soiled, this is a sign of neglect or abuse. Perhaps there are unmaintained living quarters. Maybe your loved one has not been bathed.
5. Changes in finances or property
Financial exploitation of the elderly is becoming more and more common. Some of the most common signs of elder abuse include unpaid bills, unusual changes in power of attorney or other documents, unnecessary purchased or subscriptions, and more.
Contact an attorney as soon as possible
If you suspect a loved one has been abused in a nursing home, please seek legal assistance today. At Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates, our qualified and experienced team is ready to work with appropriate authorities to investigate your case in order to ensure your loved one is fairly compensated for what has happened. This can include:
- Coverage of all medical expenses related to the abuse
- Pain and suffering damages
- Loss of enjoyment of life damages
- Relocation expenses
- Possible punitive damages against the abusers or agency
When you need a Chicago nursing home abuse attorney, please contact us so we can get to work on your case today.