Lombard nursing home abuse lawyers
If you are like many other people who have made the difficult decision to relocate an elderly loved one into a Lombard are nursing home, you may have spent a considerable amount of time exploring all of the options, touring different facilities and even reviewing complaints against different homes before you selected a residence that you felt confident about and comfortable with. Through your research, you may have focused on finding a facility that had reasonable rates, offered the services needed, had a clean and happy environment and that had compassionate, competent staff members. Unfortunately, despite your best efforts to make a careful, informed decision, there is always a chance that your loved one could become a victim of elder abuse while living in a nursing home.
Nursing home abuse may be a more common and serious problem than you may initially think. Consider that many nursing home residents are vulnerable because of their reduced physical and cognitive abilities and because of the semi-private environment of nursing homes. It is estimated that more than 3.2 million Americans of all ages currently live in nursing homes, and many are elderly men and women. For those who are at least 60 years or older, one in ten residents may be abused in some way in a nursing home. You understandably want to keep your loved one as safe as possible. Understanding more about nursing home abuse and what you can do about it can help you to be proactive about this issue.
Exploring the Many Types of Elder Abuse in Nursing Homes
If you are like many others, you have seen horrible stories on the news related to physical abuse of the elderly in nursing homes. This may have included pinching, biting, hitting or even spitting on the elderly. Neglect is a common variation of physical abuse. With neglect, your loved one’s personal hygiene needs may intentionally not be met regularly. He or she may not receive adequate water or nutritious food. Some residents may be physically restrained without cause or for much longer than necessary. In many cases, you will see visible and obvious signs of physical abuse, but staff members may attempt to explain some of the signs away.
Nursing home residents may also be victims in other types of abuse, such as psychological, financial or sexual abuse. Some types of psychological abuse include shaming, humiliating, cursing at and yelling at residents. Theft of identity, credit cards, cash and other assets are types of financial abuse. Sexual abuse may involve unwanted touching or sexual acts, pornographic images and videos and more. Many people think about staff members as possible abusers, but remember that other residents may also be abusers in some situations. In fact, anyone who comes in contact with your relative could be an abuser.
Taking Action When Abuse Is Suspected
Elder abuse is a serious issue that can have a lasting impact on victims. Some studies have indicated that many victims of elder abuse may be more likely to pass away within a few years than non-victims. As soon as you suspect possible abuse of any kind, it is important to conduct further research. If possible, make plans to visit your relative more frequently. Make visits unannounced and at different times throughout the week. Ask friends and family members to do the same. You should also pay attention to your loved one’s financial accounts, personal appearance, appetite level, sleeping habits and more. Even with these efforts, you may still not be able to firmly determine what is happening and who is responsible. To gather concrete evidence, consider using surveillance equipment in the room.
Consulting with a Lawyer
You can see that elder abuse is common and severely detrimental. Regardless of the type of abuse that your loved one may be impacted by, it is essential that you understand legal options fully. In addition to contacting authorities in Lombard about your concerns as soon as possible, consider consulting with a lawyer who has substantial experience with elder law and elder abuse cases. Remember that this issue may be a criminal matter as well as a civil matter. The accused may be tried and prosecuted as a criminal, and you may also be able to seek financial compensation for your loved one through a civil lawsuit. This compensation could pay for your loved one to relocate to a safer residence, to obtain therapy and more. Schedule a consultation with a Lombard lawyer soon so that you can proceed with a proactive plan.