What to do if you suspect abuse in a nursing home

You wish the best for your parents. You searched for just the right kind of nursing home. However, you might be afraid that your parents are being abused. Perhaps there are unexplained bruises, behavior differences or changes to medication.

How high is the level of nursing home abuse?

The National Center on Elder Abuse has suggested that as much as one in 10 people in nursing homes could be suffering abuse This figure includes psychological damage, verbal threats and neglect.

Your relative’s injury could be a bedsore, unexplained bruise or dehydration. Or it could be much worse. State inspectors in Chicago recently found four local facilities were mistreating residents. Abuse included:

  • Striking residents in the face
  • Yelling at residents
  • Sexually harassing residents
  • Dirty, cracked or broken amenities

In another recent case, a woman died in a Bartlett, Illinois, nursing home after she failed to receive her prescribed medication.

Creating a complaint

If you suspect that your loved one is being treated wrongly in a nursing home or assisted living facility, speak up. Don’t just assume that the care facility is providing the right level of care.

Questions to prompt further investigation include:

  • Was your relative left alone after an injury?
  • Did your relative experience fear or anxiety before, during or after the event?
  • Is your relative now left impaired and vulnerable?
  • Were there medical expenses resulting from the abuse?

If you suspect abuse, do not delay in contacting authorities: in the Chicago region you can report elder abuse to the Illinois Department on Aging. From there, you could file a personal injury lawsuit on behalf of your loved one.

Your parents deserve quality care at the end of their lives. Remember that you are not alone when it comes to dealing with abuse of a family member in a nursing home. You can make a legal claim and seek compensation if a nursing home was not meeting set standards or neglecting their duty of care.

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