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Placing a loved one in a nursing home for care is a difficult decision for many. Families place their elderly loved ones in nursing homes in order to ensure their family member is receiving the proper medical care and attention they need in the latter part of their lives when the resources aren’t available in their own homes. Needless to say, when a decision is made to entrust a nursing home with such an important individual, family members fully expect their loved one to be cared for to the highest possible standard. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Too often, nursing home patients are neglected or abused, and many patients feel they cannot come forward. As a result, their families remain unaware of the abuse, and it can continue to occur. It is imperative for families to be on the lookout for signs of abuse, and we have listed some of the most common and important signs below.
Look for common warning signs such as bruises, bed sores, and cuts as they may be symptomatic of abusive treatment. Bruises and cuts may occur for a variety of benign reasons, especially among the elderly who are more susceptible to these types of injuries from minor occurrences. However, based on the severity of bruises, their placement on the body, and the frequency with which they occur, one can begin to make judgments if abuse may be occurring or not. Bed sores are also a signal that the patient may not be getting out of bed often or moved enough, a necessity for the elderly and one which workers should be providing.
If your happy and extroverted grandmother suddenly becomes quiet and sad, something may be wrong. Social retreat, lack of eye contact, and other changes that are different from their normal behavior may all be signs that abuse is occurring. Because of the nature of abuse, many victims do not come forward or feel that they cannot, so looking for behavioral changes is vital in seeing if abuse is occurring and how it is affecting your loved one.
Because many victims feel they cannot come forward, bring up the difficult conversations yourself and make sure they know they are in a safe space to discuss problems, no matter how difficult or painful. Your loved one best knows what has been happening to them, so making a point to listen to them, asking questions about any physical or behavioral changes you may have noticed, and ensuring they feel comfortable enough to discuss such matters with you can help reveal abuse and allow the victim to get the help they need.
Nursing home negligence and abuse are crimes that should be treated with the severity they deserve and effectively attended to so that the victims can get the help and justice they deserve. If you or a loved one has been the victim of nursing home negligence or abuse, you may be entitled to compensation for your experiences, and the Chicago personal injury attorneys at Karlin, Fleisher & Falkenberg, LLC are here to help. If you have any questions or would like to set up an appointment with one of our qualified attorneys, please contact us at (312) 346-8620 today.