Actions you should Take following Suspected Nursing Home Abuse

Nursing homes or assisted living facilities are supposed to be places of care, comfort, and safety for our elderly loved ones. However, when abuse and neglect occur within these facilities, it can be devastating and traumatic for both the residents and their families.

Recognizing and responding to suspected nursing home abuse is crucial to ensuring the well-being of nursing home residents. In this guide, we’ll outline the actions you should take if you suspect abuse in a nursing home, along with the importance of seeking legal help from a Chicago nursing home abuse attorney.

What Are the Types Of Nursing Home Abuse?

Nursing home abuse can manifest in various forms. Here are some of the most common forms of abuse:

  • Physical Abuse: Physical harm involves any intentional use of force that results in injury or bodily harm. Signs may include unexplained bruises, broken bones, or restraint marks such as rope marks on the wrists or ankles of a loved one.
  • Emotional Abuse: Emotional abuse, unlike physical abuse, doesn’t manifest in visible physical marks or evidence. Signs include your loved one becoming withdrawn, depressed, anxious, overly stressed, or having low self-esteem. They may also seem afraid of certain staff members. This psychological abuse includes verbal abuse, yelling, threats, humiliation, or silent treatment or preventing them from talking to other residents.
  • Sexual Abuse: This is a grave crime and can be difficult to detect. Be aware of sudden changes in behavior, such as increased fear, anxiety, or withdrawal in an elderly person. Unexplained vaginal or rectal bleeding, bruising, or torn clothing can also be signs of sexual abuse.
  • Neglect: This occurs when a resident’s basic needs are not being met. Warning signs include dehydration, malnourishment (unexplained weight loss), bedsores, poor hygiene (dirty clothes, unbathed), or not receiving medications, food, or medical attention for illnesses or injuries. The resident’s living area may also be unclean or unsafe.
  • Financial abuse: This occurs when a caregiver improperly uses or controls access to an elderly person’s finances. Signs may include sudden changes in the patient’s financial situation, missing personal items, or unauthorized withdrawals.

What Should You Do if You Suspect Elder Abuse at your Loved one’s Nursing Home?

If you suspect abuse in a nursing home, it’s essential to take immediate action to ensure the safety of the resident. Here are the steps family members should take:

Ensure the Resident’s Safety

Contact the authorities or emergency services immediately if the resident is in danger. The safety and well-being of a nursing home resident should always be the caregivers’ top priority.

Talk to the Family Member

Speak calmly and kindly to the patient. Ask them questions about how they feel and their experiences with the people who work there and the others who live there.

Seek Medical Attention

If the resident has sustained injuries as a result of abuse, seek medical attention immediately. It’s essential to address any physical, mental, or emotional harm the resident may have suffered.

Gather Evidence to Support your Suspicions

Document any evidence of elder abuse. Take photos, write down the names and job titles of people you talk to, and chat with a clear-thinking nursing home resident who might know about what happened. This documentation can be valuable if legal action becomes necessary.

Report the Abuse

When an elder has been subjected to both emotional pain and life-threatening injuries, it may be appropriate to work with law enforcement.

Report the suspected abuse to the appropriate authorities, such as the nursing home administration, the Illinois Department of Public Health, or the nursing home ombudsman. Filing a police report can help bring the abusers to justice and prevent emotional abuse.

Contact a Chicago Nursing Home Abuse Attorney

Contacting an experienced nursing home abuse attorney is crucial for protecting the rights of the resident being abused and their family. A knowledgeable attorney can provide guidance on legal options and help the victim pursue compensation for any damages incurred.

Get Help For Action Following Suspected Nursing Home Abuse

Victims of nursing home abuse and their families may have legal recourse to seek justice and compensation for their suffering. A Chicago nursing home abuse attorney can assist with the following:

Investigating the Abuse

Our skilled attorney will initiate a comprehensive investigation into the suspected elder abuse. This involves delving into the circumstances surrounding the abuse, assist with collecting pertinent evidence such as medical records and surveillance footage, and interviewing witnesses, including staff members and other residents. Through meticulous examination, we as attorneys aim to uncover the full extent of the elder abuse and identify responsible parties.

Filing a Lawsuit

When negligence or misconduct is detected, the attorney will pursue legal action and file a lawsuit on behalf of the victim and their family. This legal action aims to hold accountable those individuals or entities responsible for the type of abuse, whether it’s negligent caregivers, understaffing issues, or administrative failures. The lawsuit serves as a means to seek justice for the victim’s suffering and prevent similar incidents from occurring.

Seeking Compensation

To receive compensation, you must initiate a claim for damages, which may include economic and/or non-economic losses. This process entails filing within the specified timeframe and providing copies of the complaint to the nursing home and any other responsible parties, such as a staff member. Your lawyer will guide you through the procedural requirements outlined in relevant state and federal nursing home abuse laws to ensure the entire process of your claim progresses smoothly.

Our Chicago Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys are Ready to Help

No one should have to suffer abuse or neglect in a place that is supposed to provide care and comfort. Ensure resident safety by hiring a Chicago nursing home abuse lawyer to pursue justice and hold the responsible party accountable when you suspect abuse is a nursing home.

Contact Finn Law Firm today to schedule a free consultation for your nursing home emotional abuse case.


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