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Protecting seniors from abuse in nursing homes

It's difficult to think about a loved one in a nursing home getting abused, but the unfortunate reality is that many seniors experience sexual and other types of abuse in these settings. Even worse, there's good reason to believe that these abuses often go unreported. Cases of abuse occur in nursing homes in Illinois and states throughout the country, but there are some things family members can do to help prevent this problem.

The most common type of abuse in nursing homes is resident to resident, and people with dementia and other mental conditions are most likely to be the victims. Incidents involving staff members are less common but usually far more serious. This type of abuse is often ongoing, so it's important for family to look out for warning signs. Often, the general quality of care can hint at more serious things going on in the background.

One of the most obvious signs of abuse in nursing homes can be seen on the body. Bruises, infections, bleeding and other injuries should be investigated immediately. There are also social and emotional signs that a senior is being abused. They may act impatient and agitated, withdraw from social interactions and have various symptoms of stress. When evidence of abuse is discovered, family should get their loved one to a safe place and report the problem to police.

Seniors who are victims of nursing home neglect may be able to obtain compensation for their pain and suffering. If there's evidence that a care facility ignored or covered up the abuse, they may be responsible for significant damages. It's the responsibility of an attorney to examine the circumstances of an abuse case and recommend an appropriate course of legal action for the victim and their family.

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