Because many nursing home residents have limited abilities to communicate, identifying potential abuse requires careful monitoring. Look for these signs of nursing home abuse in your frequent visits to the nursing home or assisted living facility.
Physical abuse could include any of the following:
- Sexual Assault
- Sexual Battery
- Unreasonable physical restraint
- Prolonged or continual deprivation of food or water
- Use of a physical or chemical restraint or psychotropic medication for any purpose not consistent with that authorized by the physician
- Giving too much medication
- Not giving needed medication
- Unexplained injuries
- Caretaker cannot adequately explain condition
- Open wounds, cuts, bruises or welts
- Elder reports of being slapped or mistreated
- Slapping, pushing, shaking, beating
- Forcing an older person to stay in a room
Neglect could include any of the following:
- Physical neglect: disregard for the necessities of daily living
- Medical neglect: lack of care for existing medical problems
- Failure to prevent dehydration, malnutrition, and bed sores
- Failure to assist in personal hygiene, or in the provision of food, clothing, or shelter
- Unsanitary and unclean conditions
- Failure to protect from health and safety hazards
- Poor access to medical services
Verbal and emotional abuse
This kind of abuse creates situations that are harmful to the resident’s self-esteem. Possible signs of verbal or emotional abuse may include resident behavior such as:
- Emotionally upset or agitated
- Extremely withdrawn and non-communicative
- Unusual behavior (sucking, biting, rocking)
- Humiliating, insulting, frightening, threatening or ignoring behavior towards family and friends
- Wanting to be isolated from other people
Some information above was collected from www.nursinghomealert.com.
Nursing Home Neglect Or Injuries
Pursuant to the Illinois Nursing Home Care Act, nursing homes are required to treat their residents in a non-negligent manner. The Act guarantees that certain rights while staying in a nursing home include the right to be free from neglect and abuse. Abuse is defined as any physical or mental injury, or sexual assault inflicted on the resident other than by accident or means.
There are many different types of nursing home abuse which include physical abuse, such as hitting, slapping or being overly rough, emotional abuse such as threatening or degrading residents and of course, sexual abuse, which would include unwanted touching.
The Illinois Nursing Home Care Act states that you could have a claim for the nursing home’s failure to provide adequate medical care, personal care or maintenance when the failure results in physical or mental injury to a resident, due to a physical or mental condition.
Our law firm and affiliated firms have handled many nursing home neglect cases which include but not limited to the following:
- Failure to properly care for its residents;
- Failure to keep reasonable medical attention to the patient;
- Failure to supervise residents;
- Failure to keep clean, sanitary and safe conditions;
- Failing to provide the necessary and required medications agreed to.
A very common claim comes from failure to properly turn the patient or give proper beds which result in bed sores and ulcers.
The cases usually are a result of neglect of the employees or the understaffing of employees in nursing homes. In some cases, the abuse could be caused by other residents living in the nursing home. The bottom line is that nursing homes hold a legal duty to its residents to not be negligent.
The reason we believe nursing home abuse happens so often is because the resident is not able to voice their concerns and improper treatment. For this reason, it can be difficult to prevent nursing home abuse. Illinois law makes it mandatory for certain individuals such as physicians and nursing staff to report suspected abuse to the State Department of Health. Most importantly, the family members should stay alert of any signs or symptoms that their loved ones may fall under some form of abuse by the nursing home’s employee(s).
We believe you should be suspect of abuse if any of the following occurs:
- Soiled bedding and clothing;
- Bed sores and ulcers;
- Poor physical appearance;
- Unexplained abrasions, bruising or broken bones;
- Depression and anxiety of the patient.
Nursing homes owe their patients important obligations, including the duty to properly supervise and monitor each resident, provide care in accordance with each patient’s very specific medical condition, and the care they are required to provide. If they fail to provide this care, they can be held legally responsible for any injuries resulting from the poor care.
For example, poor care can include a resident who does not receive the proper medical care when he or she is sick or becomes injured, is not given the proper medication, or does not receive proper meals.
Illinois nursing homes are licensed and regulated and inspected by different agencies including the Illinois Department of Public Health. Illinois nursing homes are required to be mandatory state’s standards of care. If an Illinois nursing home violates the state regulations or acts in negligent manner causing harm to the patient, they can be fined and a lawsuit can be brought against the nursing home. We urge the loved ones of residents in a nursing home to watch for poor treatment of their loved one. Your loved one should not be intimidated or harassed in any manner. If there is any sign of emotional abuse, including behavior changes or emotional withdrawal, you should look into the situation to find out if this is caused due to poor nursing staff or lack of adequate nursing staff. Signs of physical abuse include unexplained injuries, unexplained changes in behavior and negative reactions to certain nursing staff members.
There are many situations due to the aforesaid reasons, the patient may die. Therefore, you would have a wrongful death claim against a nursing home, including allegations of nursing home negligence, medical malpractice and personal injury. An Illinois nursing home abuse lawyer can help determine what actions should be taken against a nursing home in Illinois and any other jurisdiction.
If you are a loved one and suffered damages due to nursing home neglect, please feel free to contact David K. Kremin & Associates at 1-800-ASK-A-LAWYER or 1-800-275-2529. We promise you will be connected to an attorney with approximately 20-30 years of experience in this specific type of claim. We do not charge by the hour and you do not pay us, unless we collect money for you.