Nursing Home Abuse
Selecting a nursing home for an aging loved one is a challenging task. However, it is also incredibly important. While the majority of nursing homes hire compassionate, diligent and caring staff members, others are not so selective in their hiring. It’s in these facilities that nursing home abuse is most common. At the Fotopoulos Law Office, we represent nursing home residents and their families in personal injury and wrongful death claims against abusive nursing home staff members and their management teams.Types of Nursing Home Abuse?
When most people think of nursing home abuse, physical abuse comes to mind. And certainly, physical assaults are one of the most common forms of nursing home abuse. However, the term also covers other types of abuse such as:
- Financial exploitation,
- Psychological abuse,
- Nursing home neglect, and
- Sexual abuse
Regardless of the type of abuse, studies have shown a clear link between how a resident is treated and their overall health. Thus, if nursing home staff is psychologically abusive but never physically harms a resident, they may still suffer physical health issues as a result of the psychological abuse.How Common Is Nursing Home Abuse?
Nursing home abuse is far more common than most people realize. According to the National Association of Nursing Home Attorneys, more than five million elders are abused each year, and ten percent of people over the age of 60 have experienced abuse of some kind.
One of the most common causes of nursing home abuse, especially in recent years, is understaffing. Ever since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, nursing homes trying to cut down on expenses have kept staffing levels at a bare minimum. However, the fewer staff members there are to care for residents, the most stressful their job becomes. This can lead to a situation where an otherwise even-tempered nurse or aid “snaps” on a resident, physically abusing them.Signs of Nursing Home Abuse
Families with loved ones in an Illinois nursing home should not rely on their loved ones keeping them informed of what’s going on behind closed doors. Often, residents may be unable to communicate the terrors they are experiencing or feel a sense of shame disclosing abuse to loved ones. Thus, it is important for family members to be proactive in identifying the signs of nursing home abuse, including:
- Unexplained bruising,
- Frequent falls,
- Broken bones,
- Weight loss,
- A high rate of staff turnover,
- Changes in a resident’s mood,
- Incontinence, and
- Bedsores or pressure ulcers.
While the presence of one or more of these factors doesn’t mean your loved one is being subject to abuse, they are red flags that justify further investigation.Can Nursing Homes Be Held Financially Liable for Residents’ Injuries?
Nursing homes have a legal duty to provide residents with a certain level of care. Of course, any type of abuse committed against a resident is a flagrant violation of this duty. Those families who believe that their loved one has been abused in a nursing home should reach out to an experienced Illinois nursing home abuse and neglect lawyer to discuss their case. If you are successful in bringing a claim, you will not only hold the nursing home accountable for the wrongs committed against your loved one but also be eligible for financial compensation.Are You Concerned About a Loved One in an Illinois Nursing Home?
If you have a loved one in an Illinois long-term care facility and are worried they may be the victim of abuse, reach out to the Fotopoulos Law Office for immediate assistance. As a former judge who has more than 20 years of experience, Attorney John Fotopoulos knows what it takes to successfully prepare a case. He is also a skilled negotiator and is often able to avoid the need for a long, drawn-out trial by working out favorable settlement agreements on his clients’ behalf. To learn more, and to schedule a free consultation with an Illinois nursing home abuse lawyer, reach out to the Fotopoulos Law Office at 708-942-8400. You can also reach us through our online contact form.