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IL injury lawyerPlacing a loved one into the custody of a nursing home facility can be one of the most difficult decisions a family can make. In most instances, the family can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that their family member’s needs are being met by trained professionals. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. According to statistics compiled by the National Council on Aging (NCOA), approximately 10% of all Americans over the age of 60 have experienced elder abuse. If you believe that your loved one may be facing nursing home abuse, it is time to seek out legal guidance.

Types of Nursing Home Abuse

Nursing home abuse can come in various forms including emotional, physical, and sexual abuse. Emotional abuse occurs when a nursing home staff member verbally berates, threatens, or harasses a resident. Physical abuse is the act of physically harming a resident, and sexual abuse occurs when an employee engages in any sexual behavior with a resident that cannot or does not consent to the act. It should be noted that patients with cognitive impairments such as dementia or Alzheimer's disease are common victims of nursing home abuse and negligence.

How You Can Help

When you place your loved one into the care of a nursing home facility, it is critically important to be on the lookout for signs of abuse. Recognizing physical abuse can be somewhat straightforward due to the fact that the symptoms often come in the form of bruises or abrasions to the skin. Signs of emotional or sexual abuse can be more difficult to recognize, especially if visits to your loved one are infrequent or irregular. The first step you can take to recognize signs of abuse is spending as much time as possible with your loved one, giving you an opportunity to recognize their behavior patterns within the facility. If you notice that they are beginning to withdraw from social activities, experience changes in mood, or acting tense around their caregiver, they may be facing some form of abuse.

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IL injury attorneyAs 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.

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