PEORIA NURSING HOME ABUSE LAWYER/
When a loved one moves into a nursing home, you make a reasonable assumption that he or she will be well cared for. The experience of our Peoria nursing home abuse lawyer shows that unfortunately, instances of nursing home neglect and abuse still happen in facilities across the Illinois far too often. If you think a loved one has been victimized by nursing home neglect and/or abuse, it is important that you understand your legal options as well as your loved one’s rights and protections.
HOW IS NURSING HOME ABUSE DEFINED?/
First, it is important to understand that, while they’re often closely related, nursing home abuse and nursing home neglect are legally different. Specifically, abuse refers to an intentional act carried out by a nursing facility staff member that results in injury, lack of care, physical harm, or anguish. Neglect, on the other hand, refers to a facility’s failure to provide a resident with the care he or she is supposed to receive.
Unfortunately, there are many different ways in which nursing home abuse and neglect can manifest themselves. Some specific examples of neglect and abuse include:
- physical violence against nursing home residents
- insults or neglect of patients
- misuse of medications (including antipsychotic medications)
- failure to protect residents from violence at the hands of other residentS
- failure to keep residents and their living spaces clean
- failure to reduce or mitigate fall risks
- failure to provide residents with proper nutrition.
All of these actions are illegal and can obviously be detrimental to the health (physical, mental, or otherwise) of your loved one. Therefore, if your loved one has been the victim of any of these acts, it is important that you take the proper legal action so the nursing home can be held accountable.
COMMON SIGNS OF ABUSE AND NEGLECT/
Sadly, nursing home residents aren’t always able or willing to speak up when they have been the victims of abuse or neglect at the hands of a nursing home employee. Sometimes, a nursing home resident may not even realize that what he or she has been subjected to is, in fact, neglect or abuse. This is where it becomes especially important for family members and loved ones to remain as vigilant as possible. By watching out for some of the most common signs of nursing home abuse and neglect, you may discover abuse that otherwise would go undetected.
Fresh cuts, bruises, or other injuries should always be questioned. In addition to asking nursing home staff about injuries, it is also a good idea to sit down with your loved one in a safe, private space and ask about their condition. If he or she seems afraid or unwilling to talk about how the injury occurred, this should be seen as a major red flag and you may need to consult with a Peoria nursing home abuse lawyer.
EMOTIONAL ABUSE IN NURSING HOMES/
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In situations where neglect or abuse is not necessarily physical, you may still be able to spot signs of emotional distress. For instance, he or she may suddenly appear to be very depressed, quiet, or withdrawn. In some cases, you may also notice that he or she seems inexplicably tired or that his or her hygiene has deteriorated. It is also important to be on the lookout for sudden weight loss.
Ultimately, you should go with your gut feeling when it comes to your interactions with your loved one. If something feels “off” or doesn’t seem right, it’s always worth investigating a little further.
UNDERSTANDING YOUR LEGAL OPTIONS/
If you believe a family member has been the victim of nursing home neglect or abuse, it’s important that you act quickly. If there are any physical signs of abuse, be sure to document them with photos. Otherwise, take detailed notes of any abuse that your loved one reports to you or any other signs (such as social withdrawal) that you notice with each visit. Of course, if you have any reason to believe your loved one is in immediate danger, you will need to call 9-1-1.
HELP FROM A PEORIA NURSING HOME ABUSE ATTORNEY/
Next, it’s a good idea to consult with an experienced legal team that can assist with cases of nursing home abuse and neglect. This way, you can receive the guidance and legal representation you need when it comes to taking the next steps, which may include filing a formal complaint with your state’s Adult Protective Services agency and seeking legal recourse against the entity responsible.
Seeing a loved one suffer from nursing home abuse or neglect can be infuriating, but it’s important to remain calm and take advantage of the resources available to you. Peoria nursing home abuse attorney Jeff Green is here to help you through every step of the legal process.