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What Are the Signs of Nursing Home Abuse?

Dec 1, 2014 | Firm News

The decision to move a loved one to a nursing home or assisted living facility is frequently difficult and emotional. Most people do everything possible to ensure their elderly or incapacitated family members are protected and safe. We all want to know that our loved ones are receiving excellent, dependable care.

Unfortunately, abuse happens in nursing homes and other facilities. It can even happen when a senior or dependent adult is cared for at home by a provider. Sadly, abuse can also occur at the hands of another family member. If you don’t know what to look for, you can miss signs of abuse and mistreatment.

Signs of Elder and Nursing Home Abuse

Because many nursing home residents are already in poor physical and mental health, it can be difficult to identify symptoms of neglect. Abuse and mistreatment can take many forms, and signs of abuse can manifest physically, mentally, and emotionally.

Physical Signs of Nursing Home Abuse

In many cases, physical neglect is easier to recognize than mental or emotional abuse. It’s important to pay close attention to a loved one who receives skilled nursing care. Although you might feel embarrassed or reluctant to ask questions about intimate details of your elderly relative’s physical health, monitoring his or her well-being is vital to picking up on clues that may indicate abuse or neglect. Common signs of physical abuse include:

  • Bedsores
  • Rapid weight loss
  • Unexplained bruises
  • Foul smells
  • Infections
  • Poor personal hygiene
  • Fractures
  • Falls

Sometimes, older generations have been brought up to keep silent about physical discomfort. Other times, a parent or disabled loved one may feel too embarrassed to discuss physical abuse. This is why it’s absolutely vital to maintain an open dialogue with your loved ones.

Mental and Emotional Signs of Nursing Home Abuse

As you might expect, recognizing signs of mental and emotional abuse is typically more difficult than uncovering symptoms of physical neglect. Caregivers who berate, belittle, and torment the elderly and incapacitated may not leave behind any signs of physical damage, but the mental and emotional wounds they inflict can be just as devastating. Signs of mental and emotional abuse can include:

  • Paranoia
  • Mood swings
  • Depression
  • Sudden withdrawal from social settings
  • Refusal to visit with loved ones
  • Fearfulness

If you suspect that your elderly loved one is being abused in a nursing home, assisted living center, or other care facility, it’s important to speak to a personal injury lawyer right away.

Illinois Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Lawyers

The medical malpractice and personal injury lawyers at Anesi, Ozmon, Rodin, Novak & Kohen, Ltd. are committed to helping the most vulnerable members of our community. If you or a loved one has suffered nursing home neglect or abuse, call today at (312) 372-3822 or toll-free at (800) 458-3822 to speak to an Anesi Ozmon attorney about your case.

This website has been prepared by Anesi, Ozmon, Rodin, Novak & Kohen, Ltd. for informational purposes only and does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice. The information is not provided in the course of an attorney-client relationship and is not intended to substitute for legal advice from an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction.

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