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Warning Signs of Nursing Home Abuse

Elder Abuse in Nursing Homes

Elderly people are especially vulnerable as they become older and frailer. They are less likely to be able to stand up for themselves if someone becomes verbally or physically abusive. They often have problems seeing and hearing things well, allowing others to take advantage of them. Nursing home residents also experience abuse when poorly trained, overworked, or unsuitable caretakers become frustrated with the physical and mental limitations of those they care for.

Often abuse and neglect are dismissed by family members because they believe their loved one has developed dementia, or they don’t seem to be making any sense. Nevertheless, despite the fact that signs of abuse can overlap signs of mental deterioration, every suspicious situation should be investigated.

Important Warning Signs

You should suspect abuse if you see changes in the personality or behavior of your loved one. Emotional abuse can cause unusual behavior that may resemble symptoms of dementia, including rocking behavior, mumbling, and thumb-sucking.

If a particular caretaker is responsible for physical or mental abuse, you may notice visible tension or fear when your loved one is interacting with them. Don’t expect an elderly person to speak up about what is happening to them, as they likely have been threatened with further harm.

Signs of Physical Abuse

Signs and symptoms of physical abuse include bruising, scars, welts or signs of restraint, such as band marks on the wrist. Having unexplained sprains or dislocations is also a sign of physical abuse. Additionally, look for seemingly unrelated things, like broken eyeglasses, or a caregiver who doesn’t seem comfortable leaving you alone with your loved one.

Another form of physical abuse is sexual abuse. Signs of sexual abuse include unexplained genital infections or STDs, bruising around the breasts or near the genitals, and stained, torn, or bloody underwear.

Signs of Neglect

Nursing home caregivers may not be directly abusing a resident, but they may be neglecting their basic needs to a point where it might be considered abuse. Signs of neglect include bedsores, soiled bed clothing, dirty clothes, or unusual weight loss or dehydration.

Shea Law Group

If you suspect that your loved one is suffering nursing home abuse or neglect, it is time to discuss your options with someone from our team of compassionate and knowledgeable Chicago injury lawyers. At Shea Law Group, we have handled hundreds of nursing home abuse cases and we have the knowledge and experience to help you and your loved ones.