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Compromising the health of the elderly

Nursing home abuse is common in many nursing home facilities in Illinois, as well as across the U.S. Nursing home abuse refers to careless acts that may cause serious injury or harm to the elderly residents, affecting them physically, mentally and financially. The Illinois Department of Public Health and the Illinois State Police have been taking measures to decrease the rate of nursing home abuse. If a person suspects nursing home abuse, that person may contact the concerned departments and file a complaint.

The National Center on Elder Abuse has reported that more than one million elderly people suffer abuses in nursing homes. The family of the patient should be aware if the patient suffers seemingly unexplained injuries frequently or complains of pain, despite the fact that the injury has not been reported. If there are bruises, rope marks, lacerations, black eyes or imprint injuries on the patient's body, the family should consider that nursing home abuse may be occurring and take appropriate measures.

Apart from that, if patients show signs of sprains or dislocations, or show fear while being left alone with the attendants, the resident's family should consider that these may be signs of nursing home abuse. A lack of personal hygiene, lying unattended for long time periods, bedsores, fractures, cuts, wounds and issues related to cleanliness are all reflective of nursing home abuse, and the family of the patient should take these signs seriously.

There may also be cases related to Medicaid fraud, such as billing for medical services that were not provided or charging twice for one service. Tampering with the billing, billing for more expensive services than what were actually provided, administering inferior drugs and various acts of forgery are also not uncommon.

Source: isp.state.il.us, "Nursing Home Abuse, Neglect, and Fraud are Crimes," Accessed on June 24, 2015

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