Any person can be a victim of abuse. Men, women, children, and seniors are all subject to these situations. But, some demographics have higher incidences of abuse including the elderly. Having the right resources at hand can be helpful when navigating these difficult situations. The nursing home and elder abuse hotlines in Illinois are two great tools. Read on to learn more.
And remember, if your loved one has suffered abuse in a nursing home in Illinois, you can take action to help them recover financial compensation for all of the harm they had to endure. Medical care for injuries, pain and suffering, emotional distress, and more can be included in your claim. To learn more about recovering damages after a nursing home abuse incident in Illinois, contact our team at The Law Offices of David H. Brinton, LLC for a free consultation.
Types of Elder Abuse
When a person that is aged 60 and older is being neglected or harmed, this is considered to be elder abuse. According to the National Institute on Aging (NIA) the following types of abuse are commonly seen in the elderly population in the United States:
Aggressive touching, hitting, slapping, or even restraining an elderly individual.
Angry and hurtful words, yelling, and psychological taunting.
Ignoring the needs and requests of an elderly person. Denial of basic and essential needs like access to prescribed medication, being provided food regularly, or isolating the individual from social events and interactions.
Completely leaving an elderly person stranded without providing any provisions for them or their care in your absence.
Unwanted touching and actions that put an older person in a compromising position and force sexual acts. Or, making an elderly person watch a sexual act.
Stealing money, assets, or an elderly person’s identity to use for one’s own financial gain.
While mature men and women can be the victim of elder abuse, women tend to be the most vulnerable to being targeted and harmed by those around them. In specific, when an elderly person has other issues that make them susceptible to abuse or fraud they become even more at risk of being victimized.
Elderly people that cannot fight back who may have disabilities or memory issues will be easier targets than those who have sharper minds and can handle themselves more effectively. Also, when close family and friends do not exist to keep an eye on situations and check on an elderly person, being alone is another issue that can be exploited by a perpetrator because they will be less worried that their actions will be caught.
Elder Abuse Signs
When an elderly person is suffering abuse there are some red flags and glaring signs to take note of. Considering that as many as one in ten adults aged 60 and older suffers from abuse, if you see any of the following, you may want to look into things further because elder abuse could be present:
- A withdrawal from social interactions and leisurely activities.
- Disheveled and unkempt appearance.
- Dirty clothing and hair.
- Mood swings or changes.
- Inability to sleep.
- Extreme sudden weight loss.
- Behaving aggressively or violently.
- Has bruising and lacerations on the body, broken body parts, or other signs of physical bodily harm.
- Bedsores are present.
- Living conditions are unsafe and filthy.
It is essential and critical to the health and well-being of an elderly person that when you notice any of these things you take action. You can try and speak with your loved one about the situation. They may be willing to tell you all about what they are suffering. But, they could also be scared to say anything or be confused. So if you are unable to get information from your loved one, then you could potentially even talk to other residents to see if they would be willing to provide insight on what is happening.
In any situation where it appears elder abuse could be happening but you cannot get a good read on what is going on, you may reach out to adult protective services. When called, they will do a professional investigation of the facility where your loved one is staying to determine if there is nursing home abuse taking place.
Elder Abuse Helpline
Some professionals have a legal obligation to report abuse if they know it is happening or suspect that it is. Teachers, social services, law enforcement, and the like would be included in this category. These individuals can call the Illinois Department on Aging Senior Helpline at 1-800-252-8966 or 711 (TTY). Adult Protective Services Hotline can be accessed by calling 1-866-800-1409 or 1-888-206-1327(TTY). These numbers are 24-hour services.
Nursing Home Abuse Helpline
residents living in a nursing home where abuse is happening can report it by calling the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services’ SLF Complaint Hotline at 1-800-226-0768.
The Illinois Department of Public Health is another valuable resource. To file a complaint about an Illinois nursing home, call the Department’s toll-free hotline at 1-800-252-4343.
Information to Have Ready
Some information to keep handy when you make a call to report known or suspected abuse can include:
- The name, sex, age, and address of the victim.
- The victim’s telephone number.
- The victim’s health status.
- The age, sex, phone number of the abuser, and their relationship to the victim.
- How dangerous the victim’s situation is.
- The type of abuse that is happening to the victim.
- If the victim is able or unable to report their abuse.
- If you are willing to accept additional follow-up from protective services.
- Identifying information of anyone else that is involved with the abuse or knows of it.
- Additional information that could be of assistance to understanding the situation and getting it resolved.
Speak to a Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Today
There are resources, like the elder abuse and nursing home abuse hotline numbers that you can utilize to get help a victim needs who is suffering. Also, when losses have transpired in these situations, you may be able to file a compensation claim. For more information on taking legal action to secure financial compensation for nursing home abuse, connect with our team at The Law Offices of David H. Brinton, LLC to schedule a no-obligation consultation.