Recognizing Abuse of Elders

by Jeffrey J. Kroll

It is shocking to think that the loved ones that you have placed in the care of a nursing home or care facility, could be the victim of abuse. Every month, June is recognized and dedicated to raising awareness about elder abuse. Yet, many believe there is widespread abuse which occurs in nursing homes throughout the state of Illinois. If you suspect that a loved one is being abused in a nursing home, contact a nursing home abuse lawyer as soon as possible.

Elder abuse can look very different depending on the context it takes place in. For example, elder abuse can take several forms, including, but not limited to:

  • Physical abuse
  • Sexual abuse
  • Neglect
  • Emotional or psychological abuse

What signs or unusual symptoms should a family member look for to get an understanding whether a loved one is suffering from nursing home abuse? Here are a few of them:

  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Loss of appetite
  • Poor hygiene
  • General health seems to have declined rapidly over a short period of time.
  • Physical injuries
    • Bruises
    • Abrasions
    • Other unexplained visible physical, mental, or psychological injuries.

It can be overwhelming and downright depressing to learn that people and entities you trusted are abusing a loved one you selected to place in their care. Yet, the sooner a family member acts, the sooner your loved one can get the desperate help and protection they need. Here are some steps you can take if you suspect abuse:

  • Document the abuse. This is important when trying to determine what you saw or were told with as much detail as possible.
    • Photographs
    • Detailed notes
    • Other documentation
  • Possibly contact the police. If you believe a crime has been committed, such as physical abuse, including sexual abuse, or anything along those lines, the fastest way to protect your loved one is to get the police involved.
  • Contact a nursing home abuse lawyer, even if the police are involved, you may be able to pursue a civil claim seeking monetary damages against the abusers for your loved one’s injuries and/or other losses.

At the offices of Kaveny + Kroll, we believe that our loved ones deserve the best possible care. When that does not occur and they suffer abuse and neglect at a nursing home, we know how to hold their abusers accountable. To discuss your potential case, please contact the nursing home trial lawyers at Kaveny + Kroll, (312) 761-5585, for a free consultation.