December 15, 2016 Nursing Home Abuse Attorney Serving Clients in Chicago, IL Do you have an elderly loved one currently residing in a nursing home in Chicago? While many nursing homes and assisted-living facilities in Chicago provide quality care to patients and residents, there remains a shockingly high rate of nursing home abuse in our country. Indeed, according to a report from ABC News, a recent study suggests that about one in every three elderly residents at nursing homes suffer some form of abuse. The Administration on Aging (AoA) reports that about one out of every ten nursing home residents experiences abuse at some point, yet the AoA highlights how that statistic is derived only from the numbers we have, which the agency expects suffer from gross underreporting. When a senior begins showing signs of elder abuse or neglect, it is extremely important to take action. An experienced Chicago nursing home abuse attorney can discuss your options with you today for keeping your loved one safe and filing a claim for financial compensation. Learning More About the Aging Population The issue of nursing home abuse and neglect is becoming a particularly important one in Chicago and across the country given the growth of America’s elderly population. As a fact sheet from the AoA points out, the senior population in the country was just above 46 million in 2014, representing about 14.5 percent of the total U.S. population. Yet over the coming years, the AoA predicts those numbers will expand rapidly. By the year 2060, the fact sheet suggests that persons aged 65 and older will account for nearly 22 percent of the total U.S. population. Why is this important for considering risks of elder abuse and neglect? As the population of seniors continues to grow, more elderly Illinoisans will become nursing home residents and may face risks of abuse. Given that many cases of neglect stem from understaffing problems, the fact that even more seniors will need care illuminates the need for more training, more staffing, and more preventive measures when it comes to nursing home abuse and neglect. Types of Nursing Home Abuse in Chicago Nursing home abuse can take many different forms, according to another fact sheet from the AoA. Indeed, elder abuse is a broad term that encompasses “any knowing, intentional, or negligent act by a caregiver or any other person that causes harm or a serious risk of harm to a vulnerable adult.” What types of elder abuse should family member be able to recognize? The AoA cites the following: Physical abuse: like the name suggests, physical abuse involves a caregiver or another person inflicting pain on an elderly person. In the nursing home setting, physical abuse can take many forms, including hitting, slapping, punching, and even using physical or chemical restraints on a patient. Emotional or psychological abuse: this type of abuse occurs when someone inflicts mental pain or distress upon an elderly person, and it often occurs through both verbal and nonverbal acts. Primary examples of emotional or psychological abuse include incidents aimed at either humiliating or threatening the senior in some fashion. Sexual abuse: this form of abuse involves any form of non-consensual sexual contact between a senior and another person. Financial abuse: this form of abuse is sometimes referred to as financial exploitation, and it involves another person illegally taking, misusing, or concealing an elderly person’s money, property, or other assets. Elder neglect: unlike some of the types of abuse we have mentioned, elder neglect typically concerns omissions rather than specific intentional acts. Neglect refers to situations in which an elder has been injured because of the failure of a caregiver or another person to provide adequate food, healthcare, shelter, and other care. Signs and Symptoms of Abuse in Nursing Homes How can you know if someone you love has been the victim of nursing home abuse or neglect? The AoA cites the following as common signs and symptoms of abuse: Unexplained bruises, burns, fractures, or abrasions; Bruises around a senior’s breasts or genital area; Elderly adult’s withdrawal from normal activities or other signs of depression; Sudden change in a senior’s financial situation; Bedsores; Poor hygiene; Unmet medical needs; and Senior’s report any type of elder abuse or neglect. Contact a Dedicated Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer in Illinois If you have concerns about an elderly loved one’s safety in a nursing home in Illinois, it is better to be safe than sorry. A dedicated Illinois nursing home abuse lawyer can discuss your case with you today. Contact the Finn Law Firm for more information about our services.