According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 1 in 6 people aged 60 or older experienced nursing home negligence, or abuse at a community setting across the globe. In 2017, 2 out of 3 staff members in many of the nursing home, long-term rehabilitation or care centers admitted committing some form of abuse, which lead to both serious injuries and traumatic consequences for their patients. Considering our population of elders can reach 2 billion by 2050, it is important to understand what elder abuse is and how we can protect our loved ones in nursing homes and care facilities.
According to the Illinois Nursing Home Care Act, all residents in a nursing care facility should be made aware of their rights and all staff should adhere to policies their administrators provide to ensure no violations happen. If a guardian or spouse observes neglect or abuse, they should immediate seek an explanation and seek compensation for damages or possible death. Contacting a competent personal injury attorney can help navigate the complex process and file applicable lawsuits against the nursing home facility.
Some possible types of elder abuse that need careful observation include:
Financial abuse includes forcing elders to sign contracts, wills, using their financial information, and processing unlawful payments without their consent. Because many elders may find it difficult to read, write, or see properly, their information can be used to process someone else’s security benefits. Any abrupt change in financial assets or will, unexpected use of credit cards, increase in unpaid bills or unexpected transfer of funds should be investigated.
Neglect is the failure to fulfill the needs of an individual, or intentionally refusing to provide services. It also can include refusal to provide medication, water, food, clothing, comfort and safety on time or when asked. Irregular dehydration, lack of hygiene, malnutrition and unclean living conditions are other signs of neglect. At times, staff assigned to an elder can also abandon or desert their duties or refuse to perform them.
Elders may also be subject to physical abuse, sexual abuse and psychological abuse. Elders might face verbal abuse, insults, forced labor, harassment and humiliation from staff. A nursing home can also refuse to provide elders with mental health services when asked, leading to trauma, stress, anxiety and refusal to communicate.
If you wish to find out elder abuse at nursing homes and unusual injuries in Illinois, schedule a free consultation, contact the offices of Robert Edens at (847) 395-2200 to speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer.