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Chicago nursing home injury lawyerCertain types of abuse that occur in nursing homes, like severe neglect or even assault, lead to immediate and obvious physical harm. Other types of nursing home abuse are more insidious in that they may not directly and immediately cause physical injuries - but can lead to long-term negative health effects, or be associated with other forms of abuse that do cause physical harm. If you have a loved one who resides in a nursing home and suspect any type of abuse or neglect, it is important that you see that the matter is investigated. An attorney can help guide you through the next steps. 

How Non-Physical Forms of Abuse Can Cause Physical Harm

In elder populations, mental health is closely associated with physical health. Nursing homes that will engage in any form of abuse or neglect are not putting their residents first, and it may be prudent to question the safety of those in their care. The following forms of abuse can ultimately lead to physical harm down the road: 

  • Verbal abuse - A resident who is being verbally abused may be reluctant to ask for help from staff when she needs it. This can lead to treatable health issues going untreated because a resident was fearful of raising her concerns. Nursing home residents often need assistance getting in and out of their beds or chairs or with other daily tasks like hygiene and toileting. An abused resident may hesitate to call for assistance and attempt to get up or perform a task alone, leading to a fall or accident. 
  • Financial abuse - Stealing from a nursing home resident can cause more harm than just the immediate financial impact. Seniors are often on a fixed income and have limited money to spare. If a nursing home is taking financial advantage of its residents, there is a very real risk that they will not be able to afford other necessities. If your loved one has money missing, you may want to take a deeper look into whether they are missing any needed supplies like medications or have skipped doctor’s appointments. Even if the financial abuse has simply led to a resident needing to cut back on outings or recreational activities, these things are vital to the continued health of elders. 
  • Sexual abuse - Residents who experience this horrific form of abuse may suffer extreme detrimental health effects,. Sadly, residents who are less able to communicate what is happening to them - or less likely to be believed if they try - are more vulnerable to this type of abuse. Physical harm can come about if a resident withdraws from social or physical activity or resists having certain hygiene needs met as a result. 

All types of nursing home abuse are to be taken very seriously. Quick action may be needed to protect vulnerable residents from further harm. 

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Hyde Park Nursing Home Abuse LawyerEvery senior who relies on a skilled nursing facility for their daily care has the right to be treated with respect and to have their basic needs met, every day. Sadly, this is not always the case. If your loved one resides in a nursing home, you may be worried about how to make sure they are being adequately cared for. Now that many nursing homes are beginning to allow in-person visitation again after COVID-19 lockdowns, it may be wise to make note of a few subtle but common signs that a nursing home resident is being neglected. 

If you suspect that your loved one is being neglected in a nursing home, contact a qualified attorney. Your loved one may be entitled to compensation, and an attorney will be able to help you navigate any steps you may need to take to protect them. 

What Signs May Indicate Neglect of a Nursing Home Patient? 

Signs of purposeful abuse, like major unexplained injuries or a loved one who reports being yelled at, may be clear. Signs of neglect can be harder to spot, at least until the neglect has caused major health problems for the victim. Here are some more subtle signs of nursing home neglect to look out for during your visits: 

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Cook County nursing home injury lawyerWhen families make the decision to place an elderly loved one in a nursing home, they are entrusting the facility to provide the care their loved one needs with compassion and dignity. While there are many facilities that do just that, there are also far too many nursing homes that fail at protecting residents and providing the most basic of needs. In Illinois alone, there are more than 20,000 cases of elder abuse reported each year, with many of those victims residing in nursing homes.

Because of the prevalence of nursing home abuse and neglect, both the State of Illinois and the City of Chicago have safeguards in place that are supposed to protect seniors. But as one recent report issued by the Inspector General for the City of Chicago reveals, one city inspector failed miserably at their job.

Investigator Fails to Perform Nursing Home Inspections

The Chicago Department of Family and Support Services (DFSS) is the agency that oversees nursing homes and rehabilitation facilities. The agency employs elder protective investigators who are supposed to monitor cases of elder abuse, neglect, and financial exploitation of residents at these facilities.

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Chicago south side nursing home abuse lawyerMarch is National Brain Injury Awareness Month, so it is a good time to shed light on an important subject. Brain injuries can range in severity depending on the circumstances that cause them. Concussions are one of the most common types of injuries that affect the head and neck. These traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) can occur as a result of a collision during a sporting event, slipping and falling, or a car accident. The force of the impact from a blow to the head can cause life-altering consequences. Unfortunately, in some cases, an individual can also suffer a TBI as a result of nursing home abuse or neglect. If you suspect that your family member may have been harmed in an extended-care facility, it is essential that you consult a personal injury attorney to understand your legal options. 

Long-Term Effects of TBIs

A traumatic brain injury may be considered mild, resulting in a brief loss of consciousness or a temporary change in mental status. Severe cases can cause an extended loss of unconsciousness or amnesia that may affect a person for days, weeks, or even months after the incident.

A TBI can cause a wide range of functional short- or long-term changes affecting:

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Cook County nursing home negligence attorney for patients with dementiaResearch shows that people are living longer than they did in the past. However, many elderly individuals suffer from cognitive impairment, such as dementia, which is a leading cause of disability and dependency among older people globally. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia, and it may contribute to more than 60 percent of all diagnosed cases. Any type of dementia can greatly impair a person’s memory and the ability to care for himself or herself. Relatives may be unable to meet their loved one’s needs, since they often require 24/7 care. That is why many afflicted with the disease must reside in a nursing home or assisted living facility. Sadly, those with diminished mental states may face an increased risk of injuries from nursing home abuse or neglect

Signs of Neglect and Abuse

Unfortunately, nursing home patients who have dementia may be targets of abuse, and perpetrators may think that they can easily be taken advantage of, since no one will believe the accusations they make due to their mental health. A perpetrator may also try to place blame on the patient for their injuries, and claim that a person’s dementia was responsible for any harm they have suffered. Residents with dementia may not be able to fully remember the abuse and tell family members or authority figures about it. 

Patients may also suffer from financial abuse. Staff members may convince a patient to write fraudulent checks, or they may steal cash or valuables from unsuspecting residents. If a person obtains a patient’s personal information, they can open credit cards or take out loans in the patient’s name. Sexual abuse can also occur, and this can lead to sexually transmitted diseases or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in residents of long-term care facilities. 

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