As our loved ones age in some cases a nursing home is the best option. While we would all love to be fully independent well through our elder years, some older people suffer from serious health conditions that prevent them from living on their own or being cared for by their loved ones. In these cases we rely on the professionals in nursing homes to provide that care. Unfortunately, in some cases, these care facilities break that trust and engage in nursing home abuse or neglect. This can result in a nursing home resident suffering from bed sores, falls, choking, or a whole host of other serious problems.
Illinois Woman Allegedly Suffers Nursing Home Neglect
The Madison-St. Clair Record reports that the estate of a downstate Illinois woman who died in 2013 is suing the nursing home where she received care before her death. The lawsuit alleges that the nursing home was negligent and careless when it came to caring for the deceased woman. Allegedly as a result of the neglect she endured during her lifetime she allegedly suffered “multiple open wounds, dehydration, malnutrition, weight loss, sepsis with multiple organ dysfunction and failure” and other conditions that contributed to her death.
How Common is this Sort of Elder Abuse?
It is hard to get exact numbers on how often these sorts of tragedies occur because so many of the victims of this neglect either choose not to report it or are not mentally or physically capable of reporting it even if they wished to do so. This can be particularly tragic in cases where the victim suffers from dementia or other mental incapacity. However, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) roughly 551,000 people age 60 or over suffer some sort of abuse, neglect, or self-neglect in domestic settings. According to the CDC, the physical effects of this neglect can include but are not limited to:
*welts, wounds, and injuries *persistent physical pain;
*nutrition and hydration problems;
*increased susceptibility to new illnesses (including sexually transmitted diseases);
*exacerbation of preexisting health conditions; and *increased risks for premature death.
How to Detect Neglect
According to the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education there are certain physical indicators and behavioral indicators that can act as warning signs that an elder person is suffering from neglect. These signs include:
*Poor hygiene *Squinting.
*Unsuitable clothing; missing key articles of clothing or overdressed or underdressed for climate conditions.
*Untreated injury or illness.
*Lack of immunizations or medications.
*Indicators of prolonged exposure to elements like excessive sunburn or insect bites.
*Malnutrition or dehydration.
*Hazardous or unsafe living condition/arrangements (e.g., improper wiring, no heat, or no running water).
*Unsanitary and unclean living conditions (e.g., dirt, fleas, lice on person, soiled bedding, fecal/urine smell).
*Age-inappropriate behaviors (bed wetting, wetting, soiling).
*Withdrawn and non communicative or non-responsive behavior.
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