Due to the specialized care elderly adults require, families often make the difficult decision to place elderly family members in nursing homes. Sadly, elderly adults suffer abuse and neglect in the facilities their families entrust with their care. If you suspect nursing home abuse, contact the experienced Chicago nursing home abuse lawyers at Malman Law to discuss how we can advocate for your loved one.
Family members should be vigilant for four signs of possible nursing home abuse. In particular, family members should be observant for (1) physical injuries, (2) medical complications, (3) behavioral changes, and (4) staffing issues in nursing homes. These signs are oftentimes easily overlooked.
Physical injuries such as cuts, bruises, burns, bed sores, and broken bones are potential signs of nursing home abuse that family members should not ignore. These are often signs of potential neglect or abuse by staff members. These injuries could occur when staff members either actively abuse elderly patients or ignore their duties.
In addition to physical indicators, family members must not ignore medical illnesses or complications from which elderly patients suffer in nursing homes. Major warning signs include sexually transmitted diseases, sudden weight loss, blood in stool or urine, and the appearance of being overly medicated or fatigued. These are signals of potential negligence or active abuse by staff members.
Family members are often in the best position to notice behavioral changes in elderly patients. Family members should become concerned upon noticing elderly adults exhibiting angry or withdrawn behavior and should become concerned upon learning that elderly patients have made sudden changes to a will, power of attorney, and any other legal or financial documents. These behaviors are secondary indicators of neglect or abuse by nursing home staff members.
Elderly patients in nursing homes are dependent upon staff members for many essential needs. Family members should carefully observe indicators of understaffing, inexperienced or poorly trained staff, or abusive staff behavior. These types of staffing issues can exacerbate or enable other neglect or abuse in nursing homes.
The Nursing Home Care Act provides nursing home patients with legal rights and protections. Accordingly, elderly patients and their families have tools that enable them to hold nursing homes accountable for their failures when their rights are violated. If a nursing home has committed abuse or neglect, the victim or an authorized family member has the right to sue the nursing home for medical care, mental pain and anguish, and in extreme cases, punitive damages.
If your loved one resides in a Chicago-area nursing home and you suspect that he or she is a victim of nursing home abuse, you are encouraged to contact Malman Law. The attorneys at Malman Law are experienced in investigating nursing home negligence and seeking justice for the most vulnerable population: the elderly. To schedule a free consultation and case evaluation with a Chicago nursing home negligence lawyer, please call us at (312) 629-0099, or contact us online, for more information.