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Be aware of signs of nursing home abuse

Older people in Chicago, Illinois, often find themselves in need of caregivers. That need may result in them moving into a nursing home. Unfortunately nursing home abuse, along with abuse of older people in other situations, is appallingly common.

Worldwide, approximately 1 in 6 older people experience abuse in some form, according to research supported by the World Health Organization. The figure is expected to rise in areas where populations are aging. Of course, when older people are in nursing homes, their caregivers may be the ones who are inflicting the abuse.

There are many different types of abuse that older people experience. These can include psychological abuse, manifesting as various forms of cruelty, like embarrassing an older person on purpose, or keeping them from being with their family and their friends. It can also include failing to provide basic care, such as that needed for personal cleanliness and hygiene, and withholding key things like food and water, all of which constitute forms of neglect.

Financial abuse of older people is also common. Unfortunately, the cognitive abilities of some older people may not be as sharp as they once were, and their caregivers may take advantage of that. A caregiver may misuse an older person's property or money, in the belief that they can get away with doing so.

Naturally, all of these forms of abuse can be very damaging to the older person. The can become depressed, and anxious, as they are deprived of the good things that they need to prosper while being subjected to bad things that hurt them. The combination can damage their health to such an extent that they may need additional medical treatment or hospitalization, and in some cases, may even die because of that. For that reason, anyone who believes that an older person they care about is being abused should immediately take legal steps to protect them.

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