Crystal Lake nursing home abuse lawyers
Making the decision for a loved one to stay in a nursing home is difficult enough. You want to be assured that they will receive excellent care. However, this is not always the case. Sometimes the elderly are abused, physically as well as in other ways. Abuse is often hard to detect because the victims are hesitant to say anything for fear that they will be treated even worse.
The number of victims of nursing home abuse is staggering. It is estimated that approximately 5,000,000 seniors are abused each year. This number includes only cases that are actually reported. Although you may only think of physical mistreatment when it comes to nursing home abuse, there are several other types.
Financial Exploitation is Abuse
One of the most common types of financial abuse occurs when charges are made for services that are not performed. Other types include the disappearance of your loved one’s money or personal property. Charges made to credit cards or money withdrawn from a checking or savings account that cannot be accounted for are other signs that your loved one may be a victim of financial abuse.
Emotional Mistreatment and Verbal Abuse
When your loved one is the victim of emotional abuse, it may be difficult to detect. This is a form of abuse that can be any behavior that affects the victim emotionally. Ignoring requests or making them wait for an unreasonable amount of time for help are both types of emotional abuse. When your elderly relative is abused emotionally, physical ailments can appear that are directly related to this abuse.
Emotional abuse is also known as verbal abuse. Caregivers may belittle residents and make them feel bad about themselves. Examples include shouting at them for asking for help or for accidentally dropping their food or medicine. This is a form of verbal abuse that can have deep, long-lasting effects. The victim can start to believe that they are just a problem, and no one cares about them.
This type of abuse is not generally what you would think of when it comes to your loved one in a nursing home, but it does occur. It does not always have to be physical contact. Suggestions that are communicated verbally and forced nudity are also sexual abuse. Elderly people who suffer from dementia or Alzheimer’s are more often victims. This is because the abuser believes that due to confusion associated with their condition, no one will believe them.
Look for the Signs of Abuse
Knowing what to look for is one of the best ways to spot this abuse. If your loved one’s behavior suddenly changes and you notice they are more withdrawn, this can be a sign of abuse. Victims may have mood swings, be more confused than normal, and become agitated more easily. Behavior that is highly unusual such as rocking can be another sign of abuse.
When visiting the nursing home, observe the staff. Are they knowledgeable, and do they perform their jobs with confidence? If not, this could mean that they are not properly trained. This is one of the factors that can contribute to nursing home abuse. If the home is understaffed, the employees may be under pressure to perform too many tasks, leading to resentment and irritation. When this happens, the staff can take out their frustrations on residents.
What To Do If You Suspect Nursing Home Abuse
If you are suspicious about any behaviors or believe that the signs are there to support abuse of your loved one, it is essential that you immediately report the problem. Your first reaction will likely be anger. It is important that you address the problem rationally and calmly. Talk to management of the nursing home and express your concerns. If they do not seem willing to look into the situation or talk to you about it, this is a red flag.
Try to talk to your loved one in private. Sometimes they are reluctant to talk about their abuse or they may be unable to communicate the abuse. If this is the case, other residents can be helpful when it comes to finding out what is happening.
Of course, if you believe your loved one is in immediate danger, you should contact the police. Removing them from the facility is crucial if you believe that retribution would be taken against them because of your suspicion of abuse. Consult a nursing home abuse lawyer quickly for advice. You cannot change what has already happened, but you can stop it from happening to your loved one and others again.