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What Are Some Common Types of Nursing Home Abuse?

It is estimated that as many as 5,000,000 elders are abused each year in nursing homes. This abuse comes in many forms, including physical, emotional, sexual, or financial abuse, and it isn’t always obvious.

Illinois has seen more confirmed cases of physical and sexual nursing home abuse than many other states. The state has laws put into place that are meant to ensure the well-being, safety, and health of our elderly while they are in the care of a nursing home. Unfortunately, sometimes these laws are not always effective in preventing abuse from occurring.

Since a large number of nursing homes are for-profit, it is often the case that these facilities treat profit of higher importance than that of the care for the patients and residents. In order to make such a profit, nursing homes often reduce the size of their staff or hire workers that do not have the experience to care for the elderly. This can often result in physical abuse and neglect that many of these facilities overlook or ignore.

If you suspect an elderly loved one is being abused while in the care of a nursing home, you should first file a complaint with one of the many Illinois government agencies that will investigate an allegation of abuse. Then, you should call the experienced attorneys of Spiros Law. Our dedicated attorneys will fight to protect the rights of your loved one, while working to pursue compensation for their injuries.

Physical Abuse and Neglect in Nursing Homes

Physical abuse occurs when a patient is harmed by physical force. It is important to look for warning signs of physical abuse, such as cuts and scrapes, bruises, and broken bones. Abuse can also occur when neglect leads to physical harm to your elderly loved one. The common injuries associated with physical abuse and neglect in a nursing home include:

  • Malnutrition and dehydration – Patients who are not provided with adequate hydration or nutrition have a greater risk of developing illnesses or being injured as a result of a fall or pressure sores.
  • Falls – Neglect of a patient can result in a loss of muscle mass in the elderly and a general weakness. This increases the likelihood that a patient might fall and become severely injured.
  • Pressure Sores – These are usually a good sign that abuse in the form of neglect has occurred. Caused by remaining in one position for too long, pressure sores require immediate treatment in order to reduce the risk of infection.

Sexual Abuse in Nursing Homes

Often times, sexual abuse in nursing homes occurs to those elderly patients who have certain medical issues that cause memory loss or difficulty in communicating. These medical conditions can impede the ability of the patient to report the abuse.

Sexual abuse of the elderly means any touching, intercourse, or other sexual activity with an elderly adult when that adult cannot understand or provide consent to the sexual activity, or is threatened or forced to consent to the sexual activity. Sexual abuse can result in injuries, STDs, mental agitation, other emotional issues, and, at times, suicide.

If you suspect a loved one has been abused at the hands of a nursing home, contact the skilled attorneys at Spiros Law for your free consultation. Call today at (815) 929-9292.