Nursing Home Red Flags: How To Recognize Abuse

Nursing Home Red Flags How To Recognize AbuseMany families in Illinois and nationwide rely on nursing homes to care for loved ones who can no longer live independently due to old age. Unfortunately, elder abuse in nursing homes is a widespread problem in the United States. These facilities can expose the most vulnerable community members to potential abuse and neglect. Elder abuse can take many forms, and the physical and mental effects can be devastating.

According to the National Council on Aging (NCOA), approximately one in 10 Americans aged 60 or older has experienced some form of elder abuse. However, recent studies estimate that only one in 24 cases of abuse is reported to authorities. Senior citizens who reside in nursing homes may be isolated or afraid to seek help. Therefore, it’s crucial to recognize the nursing home red flag signs that may indicate there is abuse to get your loved one help if they need it.

What Are the Types of Abuse in Nursing Homes

According to the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA), abuse of older adults often falls under one of the five following categories:

  • Physical abuse – Physical abuse includes physical acts of violence, such as hitting or kicking, and excessive use of physical means to restrain an elder.
  • Sexual abuse – Sexual abuse comprises non-consensual sexual contact of any kind, including unwanted touching, sexual harassment, and sexual assault and battery.
  • Emotional or psychological abuse – Emotional abuse can be inflicted through verbal and nonverbal acts, including isolation, threats, and intimidation.
  • Financial abuse – This can include stealing an older adult’s money or possessions or coercing them into signing over their funds to the abuser.
  • Neglect – Neglect occurs when a caretaker refuses or fails to perform their duties, such as feeding, bathing, or comforting an elder in their care.

What Are the Signs of Abuse in Nursing Homes

Being familiar with the red flag signs of elder abuse is essential, particularly because abuse victims are often afraid to speak up. The most common signs include the following:

Why Don’t Elders Report Nursing Home Abuse

Due to the traumatic and painful nature of elder abuse, many of these assaults and patterns of abuse go unreported. A few of the main reasons for this are:

  • Fear of retaliation from the abuser, caregivers, or institutions
  • Dependency on the abuser
  • Fear of not being believed
  • Familial relationship with the abuser

What Are the Risk Factors for Elder Abuse

Studies show that specific risk factors place some elders at higher risk of abuse and neglect. Those factors include the following:

  • Alzheimer’s or dementia
  • Limitations in physical or cognitive functioning
  • Difficulty communicating
  • Specific behavioral symptoms, such as physical aggressiveness
  • Isolation or lack of social support

How To Report Nursing Home Abuse in Chicago

Report Nursing Home AbuseSeveral entities in Illinois will accept and investigate a report of suspected abuse, neglect, or exploitation of a nursing home resident. If you’ve found red flags signs want to report abuse of a loved one in a nursing home, you can contact the following agencies:

What Compensation Is Available in a Nursing Home Abuse Claim

If your loved one was abused or neglected in a nursing home, you and your family could be entitled to compensation for the financial and personal losses you incur as a result of the abuse. You could be eligible to seek money for the following:

  • Medical costs, including hospital stays, doctor’s visits, surgeries, physical therapy, and medication related to treating injuries from the abuse or neglect
  • Out-of-pocket expenses, such as mileage for travel to medical appointments
  • The physical pain and emotional suffering of the loved one who was abused or neglected

Our Chicago Personal Injury Lawyers Can Take Your Nursing Abuse Case

At Karlin, Fleisher & Falkenberg, LLC, we understand how difficult it can be to pursue compensation and justice after a loved one is abused or neglected in a nursing home. We can use our considerable experience, resources, and skills to advocate for your rights and seek the financial relief you and your family deserve. Our attorneys offer compassionate, client-centered services with a track record of success. Call us today at 312-346-8620 or contact us online to speak confidentially with our nursing home abuse attorneys.

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Written by Karlin, Fleisher & Falkenberg, LLC Last Updated : May 29, 2024