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Common signs of neglect or abuse at a nursing home

When residents in Illinois leave their elderly family members in the care of another person or facility, they are trusting that their loved ones will be cared for like family there. Unfortunately, that isn't always the case. Abuse and neglect in nursing homes are all too common, and abuse of power can occur. Here are some common signs of abuse or neglect to watch out for.

Nursing Home Alert states that abuse and neglect are categorized separately. Abuse is the intentional harm - physical, mental or emotional - of a resident. Neglect, on the other hand, can be unintentional or intentional. It occurs when a resident is not provided with what they need to live comfortably, or even survive in some cases.

Signs of abuse can include:

  • Injuries with no or nonsensical explanations
  • Emotional upset or agitation and other changes in behavior
  • Dehydration or malnourishment, including weight loss or gain
  • Conditions that are unclean or otherwise unsanitary
  • Infections

Some of these signs also overlap with neglect. Injury can occur either due to a willful act from an employee to hurt a resident, or if the resident is left alone for an extended period of time.

Fox Business says that Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) allows consumers to now sue nursing homes for these issues. Contract clauses before generally barred these cases from being taken to court, but that is no longer true.

Anyone who feels suspicious or uncertain about a nursing home should not ignore their gut feelings. This is especially true if these signs are present in any form, since they likely indicate a more severe problem.

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