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Kankakee Nursing Home Emotional Abuse Lawyers

Emotional abuse comes in many forms and may not be as straight forward as you think. All too often, nursing home residents become easy targets for emotional abusers due to their deteriorating physical and mental states. Unfortunately, emotional abuse cases in nursing homes often go unreported in Kankakee, especially because the resident may not even realize this emotional abuse is occurring.

At Spiros Law, P.C., we are dedicated to fighting for those who may be unable to fight for themselves. We are committed to providing exceptional legal representation in Kankakee for our clients so that you are able to obtain the justice you feel your family deserves.

Abuse in Nursing Homes

Nursing home abuse is a common problem in the United States. It can take many forms, including:

  • Physical abuse: any use of violence against a nursing home resident
  • Financial abuse: stealing money, property, documents, or assets from a resident
  • Sexual abuse: sexually assaulting a resident
  • Neglect: refusal or failure to provide residents with needed care
  • Abandonment: deserting a resident who requires care

Emotional abuse may be the worst type of nursing home abuse because it has no outward signs. It can be very difficult to spot and even harder to prevent, as it can be both an action, like ridicule or yelling, or inaction, like ignoring a resident’s request for assistance. It’s also one of the few types of abuse that can be unintentional.

Types of Emotional Abuse

Your loved one should not have to endure emotional abuse. If you sense any of the following behaviors are occurring, take action immediately. Types of emotional abuse include:

  • Isolation
  • Humiliation
  • Habitually blaming
  • Ignoring or neglecting an elder
  • Threatening or yelling
  • Intimidation

If you believe that your loved one is being emotionally abused in a nursing home, it’s imperative that you remove them from their current living environment and seek legal representation from an emotional abuse lawyer in Kankakee as soon as possible.

How Common is Emotional Abuse in Nursing Homes?

Abuse in nursing homes is a growing problem. According to the National Council on Aging, about 5 million older Americans are abused every year, and according to the World Health Organization, 2 in 3 elder care facility employees reported abusing a resident at some point in the last year.

The WHO also reports that emotional or psychological abuse is the most common type of abuse in nursing homes, with over 30% of residents and staff reporting some type of emotional abuse.

Risk Factors for Emotional Abuse

  • There are many factors that can make emotional abuse more prevalent, including the following:
  • Social isolation: when an elderly person is prevented from having contact with others, they become easy targets for emotional abuse
  • Loss of mental capacity: cognitive decline can play a significant role in abuse
  • Poor physical health: if the resident is in poor physical condition or can’t talk because of a physical condition, the incidence of abuse can increase
  • Poor care standards: a facility that has low standards of care will abuse residents more often
  • Age: Residents who are over age 75 are more susceptible to emotional abuse
  • Lack of funds: if a resident has difficulty paying for the care they receive, the risk of abuse increases

Symptoms of Emotional Abuse

Spotting emotional abuse in a nursing home can be very difficult because, unlike with physical or financial abuse, there are no outward physical signs or paper trail. With an older person that is not able to communicate effectively, the difficulty becomes even greater.

Signs of emotional abuse including the following:

  • Withdrawing from social interactions or family
  • Appearing scared or nervous
  • Lashing out at family members
  • Expressing feelings of fear or hopelessness
  • Avoiding eye contact
  • Changing sleep patterns
  • Becoming careless about hygiene
  • Changing diet patterns
  • Attempting self-injury
  • Low self-esteem
  • Injuring others
  • Mood swings

Steps to Take if You See Emotional Abuse

Stopping or preventing emotional abuse starts with taking action immediately after seeing signs or symptoms. If your family member is being emotionally abused, chances are other residents in the same facility are suffering from abuse as well.

Here are some steps to take to keep your family safe and stop the abuse:

  1. Contact the Ombudsman or Family Council. Most nursing care facilities have either an employee or volunteer Ombudsman that acts as a liaison between residents and the facility administrators, or a Family Council, a group of family members of residents that meet to discuss problems or concerns and act as a unified voice when speaking to facility management.
  2. Contact authorities. If the abuse continues after advising the ombudsman or Family Council, advise Kankakee police or Illinois Adult Protective Services about the abuse. Give them as much information as possible, including any steps you’ve taken to mitigate the problem.
  3. Remove them. Even if you’ve received assurances that the instances of abuse were minor and will not happen again, removing your family member from the facility is the best way to make sure they aren’t abused again.
  4. Hire an attorney. Compile any evidence you’ve collected, such as witness statements or reports, and take it to a qualified attorney. They will help you build an injury claim for damages.

Do I Really Need an Attorney?

Here are some of the ways hiring a personal injury attorney for your nursing home emotional abuse case can help:

  • We know the business. Insurance companies will use several underhanded tactics to get you to accept a settlement far below what you actually deserve. We know these tactics and the best ways to counter them.
  • We can estimate damages. Estimating damages for something as hard to prove as emotional abuse in nursing homes can be difficult. We can help you come up with a number that not only compensates for what’s been lost but gives you peace of mind.
  • We may be able to increase the compensation you obtain. Studies show that having an attorney may increase your chance of getting compensation by over 40% and can increase the amount of compensation by up to five times.

Why Hire Spiros Law, P.C. for My Nursing Home Abuse Case?

Finding the right attorney to assist with your personal injury claim isn’t always easy, especially for something as difficult to prove as emotional abuse in a nursing home. The attorneys at Spiros Law, P.C. have helped Kankakee residents get just compensation for their injuries since 2005, and they can do the same for you and your family.

Spiros Law, P.C. takes a team approach to helping their clients, which means every member of our legal team takes some responsibility for getting you the compensation you deserve. We will take the time to listen to your needs and the details of your case, so we can build an ironclad injury claim backed by evidence that an insurance company would be hard-pressed to deny.

We also give back to the community through donations of our time and resources to certain charitable organizations and causes in southern Illinois. Check out this page to see how we’ve helped local residents get through these trying times.

But most importantly, we get positive results for our clients. We’ve helped our clients obtain over $100 million in compensation over the last ten years, and we know what it takes to do the same for you.

Contact a Kankakee Nursing Home Emotional Abuse Lawyer for Help

Your mind may understandably be racing if you’ve learned that your loved one has been emotionally abused in a nursing home. A Kankakee emotional abuse lawyer can help you handle this situation appropriately so that your family has the best chance at receiving justice. Financial compensation may be required to ensure that your loved one’s future is secure, and our Kankakee legal team is dedicated to serving you. Contact Spiros Law, P.C. at (815) 929-9292 today.