As seniors grow older, their family members often become responsible for their wellbeing and care. With full-time jobs and families, becoming a caregiver for an elder loved one is not always a viable option. Older people often require specialized care that only a medical professional can administer. Nursing homes are a respected option for families who have elders who can no longer take care of themselves. While these facilities do have benefits, far too often, older people can become victim to the system.
Elders are often easy targets. In fact, 10% of people aged 60 years or older have faced some form of elder abuse. The statistics of abuse go up with elders with mental impairments such as dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. Abuse also comes in many forms. Examples are physical, emotional, neglect, isolation, and exploitation.
It is important when visiting a loved one in a nursing home, to look out for signs of abuse. Some forms of abuse, such as emotional or financial, may not be obvious but are just as harmful as visual physical abuse.
The World Health Organization finds that two in three staff members of nursing homes have participated in some form of abuse. Signs to look out for are:
- Changes in personability of behavior;
- Sudden changes to their will or power of attorney;
- Poor hygiene;
- Uncharacteristic anxiety or depression; and
- Sudden infections or disease.
Your loved one may be afraid to come forward about abuse because of threats of repercussion by the staff. It is your job to be their advocate if any abuse is suspected.
What to Do When Abuse Is Present?
If you suspect your loved one is in immediate danger, call 911. Otherwise, there are resources available for you and your family. Professionals in social service or medicine are required by law in Illinois to report abuse of elders and people with disabilities if the victim is not capable. Illinois has a 24-hour hotline where suspected elder abuse can be reported, called the Adult Protective Services Hotline. The person calling in the abuse should be prepared with information about the victim, the alleged abuser, the circumstances of the neglect. The Adult Protective Services Hotline is confidential with the exception of court orders and other circumstances by law.
Contact an Aurora Nursing Home Negligence Attorney
When nursing home staff take advantage of families, it is the elders that suffer the most. Contact an experienced Kane County nursing home negligence attorney to protect your elderly family member from further abuse, and to collect compensation for negligence by a nursing home. Call our office at 630-907-0909 to schedule a free consultation.