3 signs of nursing home abuse
Nursing home abuse is major problem in America. Nursing home residents depend on employees to care for them and help them complete daily tasks. Surprisingly, a significant number of nursing home residents are mistreated and abused. In a study performed by an elderly advocacy group Families for Better Care, Illinois was given a failing grade when it came to providing acceptable care for nursing home residents. Unfortunately, a Chicago nursing home abuse attorney is familiar with this abuse problem and handles these unsettling cases on a regular basis.
While some senior citizens vocalize accounts of their abuse, others do not. Some people may be threatened by their abusers or feel otherwise unable to speak up about the situation. In some cases, it is up to the friends and family members of the senior citizen to identify the signs of abuse, and take action to stop it from reoccurring. The following are some common signs of nursing home abuse, according to the National Center on Elder Abuse.
- Bruises, welts and other signs of physical violence
One of the most common signs of nursing home abuse is physical evidence that a person has been hit, pinched, punched, burned or otherwise treated unjustly. Nursing home employees may use excessive force when helping a resident with daily tasks, such as taking a bath or getting dressed. Workers may also take out their frustrations by actually hitting, beating or shaking innocent elderly residents. Small and delicate senior citizens are more likely to show signs of physical abuse, including bruising and broken bones.
- An abrupt change in personality
Many senior citizens respond to emotional, physical or sexual abuse by psychologically removing themselves from the situation. This can cause them to withdraw from others, a fact known by a Chicago nursing home abuse attorney. Friends and loved ones may find that the abused nursing home resident stops participating in his or her favorite activities, going out on errands or socializing with others.
- Signs of neglect
Whether an elderly person has been neglected unintentionally or on purpose, the signs that a resident has been uncared for may point to abuse. These signs of neglect may be apparent when a nursing home resident:
- Has not been bathed for some time and has poor personal hygiene
- Has bedsores, open wounds or infection from inattention
- Has remained in the same clothes for several days at a time
- Appears to be malnourished or dehydrated
- Has soiled bedding and otherwise unclean living conditions
With all types of abuse, there is a strong psychological component which often causes severe depression and anxiety.
Although elderly people who are no longer able to care for themselves have been entrusted to nursing care facilities, it may be up to friends and family to spot the signs of abuse. If the abuse is severe and continues over a long period of time, it could end in death. People who suspect their loved ones have been mistreated in a nursing home facility may want to contact a Chicago nursing home abuse attorney for legal assistance.