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Assisted Living Facility Neglect and Abuse

Whether your loved one is in a nursing home, an assisted living facility, or in a rehabilitation facility, you expect they will be safe and well-taken care of. Unfortunately, there are many instances where that is simply not the case. It can be devastating to find out that someone you love has been abused or neglected. Not only is such abuse and neglect traumatic to the individual living in the facility, but it is also traumatic for family members as well. If you suspect—or know—that your loved one is being abused or neglected, it is important to take immediate action.

At the Finn Law Firm, we understand how difficult it can be to know what you need to do while you are still trying to make sense of what happened. We want to be a strong advocate for your loved one and for you. We can answer all your questions regarding reporting the incident, helping you determine whether filing a lawsuit is the right choice for you and your loved one.

What are Assisted Living Facilities?

According to the National Center for Assisted Living, more than 835,000 Americans currently reside in assisted living, with the majority of these residents being white, female, and age 85 or older. By the year 2040, the 85-plus population is expected to triple, to almost 14.1 million. Almost three-quarters of those currently turning 65 will require some level of living assistance in their lifetime. Assisted living is a part of a continuum of long-term care services providing housing, personal care services, and health care to those who need assistance with normal daily activities. Most assisted living communities provide round-the-clock supervision and assistance, designed to:

  • Be a bridge between independent living and a nursing home
  • Accommodate the resident’s changing needs
  • Maximize the resident’s independence, privacy, and dignity
  • Encourage the involvement of family and community

While most assisted living residents are seniors, there are also younger people with disabilities who reside in assisted living facilities. Like nursing homes, assisted living communities are registered and state licensed. Most assisted living facilities offer the choice of three meals a day in a group dining room or some meals in the dining room, and some meals either self-prepared or delivered to the residence. Medication management, recreational and spiritual activities, laundry and linen services, and exercise and wellness programs are all a part of the assisted living experience. 

Who Lives in Assisted Living Facilities?

According to Senior Care, the “typical” assisted living resident is a senior citizen who has suffered a mild decline in overall health, whether from an injury, an illness, or the natural results of aging. This “typical” assisted living resident may have challenges associated with daily functions such as getting dressed or bathing. While most of those who reside in assisted living are seniors, about 11 percent are younger than 65.

What are the Most Common Signs and Symptoms of Neglect and Abuse?

Unfortunately, neglect and abuse can happen in an assisted living facility in the same way it happens in a nursing home. In particular, residents who have some mental decline, who are particularly physically frail, or who do not have regular family or friend visitors are at risk of being abused or neglected. Even family members that visit regularly may not immediately notice the subtle symptoms of abuse or neglect among those living in an assisted living facility. Victims of abuse or neglect may keep the information from their loved ones out of embarrassment, fear of retribution, or in an effort to shield loved ones from stress and worry. Some of the most common signs and symptoms of abuse or neglect in an assisted living facility include the following:

  • You see a sudden drop in weight in your loved one.
  • You notice unexplained rashes or bedsores on your loved one.
  • You see welts or bruises on the skin, particularly on the face or arms.
  • Your loved one seems unusually depressed or anxious.
  • Your loved one is wearing torn, stained, dirty, or bloody clothing, or is inappropriately attired for the weather.
  • Your loved one appears hungry, confused, disoriented, or malnourished.
  • Your loved one is not taking his or her prescribed medications.
  • You notice tense or strained relationships between your loved ones and other residents or facility staff members.
  • Your loved one’s alertness level changes suddenly.
  • Your loved one begins avoiding contact with family, friends, and neighbors.
  • Your loved one has scalding burns or cigarette burns, cuts, lacerations, or puncture wounds.
  • Your loved one has unexplained dislocations, fractures, or sprains

Why Is It Important to Report Incidences of Abuse and Neglect?

Of course, it is important to report any abuse and neglect of your loved one for their sake and your sake. No individual should be forced to live in fear or should ever be physically, sexually, or emotionally abused or neglected. Additionally, when you report abuse and neglect, then it becomes much less likely other vulnerable individuals will have to endure abuse or neglect.

How an Attorney from the Finn Law Firm Can Help You File an Abuse or Neglect Claim

At the Finn Law Firm, we understand how traumatic it can be to discover your loved one is being abused or neglected. We want to help you through this time in your life while seeking justice for you and your loved one. It is extremely important that you report the abuse or neglect to the proper Illinois authorities, and we can help you do that. We also know that neglect and abuse can have long-term effects on the health and well-being of vulnerable individuals.

The elderly who have emotional support from friends and family are likely to feel as though they have more control over their life, potentially minimizing the long-term consequences of neglect and abuse as opposed to those who have no support. Sadly, many signs of neglect or abuse may be mistaken as a normal sign of aging. When an older individual loses interest in his or her life, it may be chalked up to aging rather than abuse or neglect. Contact the Finn Law Firm immediately when you learn of abuse or neglect of a loved one. We will guide you through the process while being your advocate at every turn.

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