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Elder abuse and neglect comes in many different forms

There are thousands of people in Chicago and the surrounding areas who have relatives residing in nursing homes. For the most part, the people who work at nursing homes are caring and provide the best treatment for those residents. However, as the occasional news story reminds us all, there is the potential for abuse and neglect in nursing homes in Chicago and throughout the nation.

The main issue when it comes to elder abuse is that it comes in many different forms and can be difficult to detect. Obviously, our readers would guess that physical abuse of senior citizens who live in nursing homes is the easiest to detect. While this may be true in general, as bruises and cuts may be easily observed, there may be other signs of physical abuse that may not be so obvious, or that may be obscured or covered by clothing. Family members who are visiting elderly loved ones who reside in nursing homes should keep their eyes open for the signs of physical abuse.

Mental and emotional abuse can be just as big of a problem – if not bigger – than physical abuse. Nursing home staff members may verbally abuse residents or otherwise subject them to treatment that puts them in a negative state of mind. This type of abuse can be very hard to detect, and may require a conversation with the loved one in a safe environment.

Other than active abuse of an elderly person, there may be instances of neglect that occur in nursing homes. Many nursing homes are short-staffed, and if a resident is somewhat non-communicative, it may be easy to overlook or simply ignore care for such a person. Our readers should be sure to look for the signs of elder abuse.