While the two are certainly related, there is a difference between nursing home abuse and nursing home neglect in Illinois. For one thing, abuse can be something that is actively being done against a resident — such as striking them — whereas neglect is more about failing to provide the care that is required.
That being said, it is important for the family members of those in assisted living centers or nursing homes to know what signs to look for that could indicate that neglect is an issue. This way, if their loved one is being mistreated by a nursing home, they can identify the problem quickly and take necessary legal action.
First of all, elderly residents could appear to be dehydrated or malnourished, due to the fact that they are not being given the food and water that they need. They may also appear weak and frail because of this.
Another sign of neglect is injuries, such as bedsores, that are not being treated. While direct injuries — like bruises — could be a sign of abuse, the lack of treatment for standard issues like bedsores points more toward neglect.
On top of that, family members may notice things like a deteriorating level of personal cleanliness, a lack of cleanliness in the area where the person lives or documented health issues that do not appear to be taken care of properly on a regular basis.
It is most important to note that these are not all of the signs of neglect, as every case can come with its own symptoms. However, family members must act if they suspect there is a problem for any reason. Those who suffer from such neglect and/or abuse may be able to seek compensation from the responsible party or entity.
Source: National Center on Elder Abuse, “Neglect” Sep. 12, 2014