What Families Must Know: Nursing Home Abuse

Families may use a nursing home as a way to provide for their aging parents, grandparents, or other loved ones. Family members may use these facilities if their senior relative has an injury that requires focused recovery assistance, or they may use it so that the elderly person receives the care they need that the family is unable to handle on their own. But family members must practice their due diligence in finding the appropriate nursing home, as not all are the same. Throughout the country, elderly are mistreated while living at a nursing home, and may be too afraid to speak up out of fear of worsened treatment. 

Families cannot monitor their senior loved one all the time, and relatives may be scattered across the world and can only offer support from a distance. To reduce the chances of abuse happening to your senior loved one, it may be a good idea to make sure the location of the facility is within visiting distance from other relatives. A senior person who doesn’t get visits often is more likely to suffer from nursing home abuse, simply because there aren’t relatives frequenting the space and making sure everything is in order. 

The signs of nursing home abuse can vary greatly, as the type of abuse can be different from one case to another. Abuse is not just physical, it can be mental, emotional, sexual, and financial. Typically, someone who is experiencing abuse is likely to have sudden changes to their moods and personality. Maybe they were outgoing once before, and now seem worried and prefer to be alone. In other instances, the symptoms of nursing home mistreatment are obvious, where you can see external wounds on the person’s body. 

Aside from outright abuse, a senior resident in a nursing home may be neglected or abandoned. Neglect is the failure to offer basic needs that someone must have for survival, such as water, food, hygiene, shelter, and medical care. Abandonment is when a vulnerable adult is deserted by someone who is responsible for their well being. Neglect or abandonment may be caused by one or more caregivers, or be the result of systematic facility failure. Sometimes the neglect is unintentional, but if a senior person is harmed because of it, then it doesn’t matter whether it was purposeful or not since the damage has already been done. 

Studies have revealed that 2 out of every 3 staff that work in institutional care environments, like nursing homes, have admitted to committing elder abuse just in the last year. Devastatingly, this means that people’s aging relatives are enduring harsh treatment without them even noticing. As a lawyer would advise, like a  nursing home abuse lawyer Chicago, IL families depend on from Dave Albo, family members are strongly encouraged to learn more about the signs of nursing home abuse and how they can take action if needed.