At Dwyer & Coogan, P.C., our Chicago elder abuse attorneys are committed to helping victims of nursing home abuse and neglect obtain justice for their damages. Our team has successfully helped clients and their families recover the compensation they need to overcome the financial harm done to them and to securely pay for ensuing medical and psychological care. Learn more about the signs and types of elder abuse in nursing homes, and contact us to set up an initial consultation.
The Incident Rate of Elder Abuse
Though the rate of elder and nursing abuse varies exponentially from study to study, most findings reveal that elder abuse is a prevalent issue. According to the findings, seven to 10 percent of elderly individuals have suffered at least one incidence of abuse in recent years. A study of 2,000 nursing home residents indicated an abuse rate much higher, at 44 percent, and a neglect rate of 95 percent. It is suspected that only about 20 percent of all cases of abuse, neglect, and exploitation are actually reported. Several studies indicate that approximately 90 percent of perpetrators are family members.
Warning Signs of Elder Abuse and Neglect
The warning signs of elder abuse in nursing homes are both physical and behavioral. Some signs that abuse, neglect, or exploitation is occurring include:
- Your loved one has become immobile despite no changes in his or her health
- Your loved one’s personal hygiene has plummeted, and he or she smells like urine, feces, or body odor, wears dirty clothes, has unwashed hair, etc.
- Your loved one has unexplained bruises, broken bones, dislocated bones, scratches, or other physical injuries
- Your loved one appears to be malnourished, dehydrated, weak, or altogether unwell
- Your loved one has frequent urinary tract infections, bedsores, open wounds, or other visible ailments
- Your loved one has become isolated, withdrawn, agitated, fearful, anxious, or embarrassed
- Your loved one seems hesitant to discuss injuries or changes in their condition
Victims of nursing home abuse are often not the only parties to demonstrate warning signs. Often the nursing home staff present warning signs as well, like:
- A varied or inconsistent story of how the elderly individual obtained his or her injuries
- Unexplained or unlikely explanations of how an elderly patient’s injury happened
- Records of visits to several different medical institutions, even though the elderly patient has lived in the same home at the time of all visits
If you notice any of these signs, know that there are laws protecting the elderly and that the guilty parties can and should be held accountable. Our attorneys at Dwyer & Coogan, P.C., are prepared to help you fight for justice and compensation on your loved one’s behalf.
Types of Elder Abuse
Just as the signs of elder abuse vary from person to person and from home to home, so too do the types of elder abuse in nursing homes. Elder abuse may take one or more of the following forms:
- Financial exploitation
- Pushing, hitting, shoving, or slapping
- Threats or assault
- Inappropriate use of restraints
- Scratches, bites, or burns
Whatever form the abuse takes, your elderly loved one deserves to be vindicated.
Get Help Today
Nursing home abuse is a growing and serious concern in our country. Our experienced attorneys at Dwyer & Coogan, P.C. fight this prevalent problem by helping victims and their families hold the responsible parties financially accountable. Get the legal help you need to bring justice for your loved one. Contact us today to set up a free consultation.