Nursing homes and assisted living facilities in Illinois are designed to provide care for those who can no longer care for themselves. They are a valuable option for family members who are unable to care for their aging relatives but want them to still have the dignity and care they require to live a good life. Unfortunately, there are those who take advantage of the trust that families place in them and elder abuse and neglect is all too common. HelpGuide defines the different types of elder abuse and how to spot them.

Physical abuse is what most people think of when they consider elder abuse. This is the use of force against an elderly person that results in impairment, injury or pain. This may involve shoving, hitting, pinching and inappropriately using confinement, restraints and drugs.

Emotional elder abuse can manifest in several ways, including the following:

  • Ridicule and humiliation
  • Habitual scapegoating or blaming
  • Threats or yelling designed to intimidate
  • Isolation from activities or friends
  • Menacing or terrorizing the person
  • Ignoring the person

This type of abuse leads to psychological or emotional pain or distress, which can be harder to spot than physical abuse.

Another form of elder abuse is financial exploitation. This is when someone uses the elderly’s property or funds in an unauthorized manner. This is more common when there is a single caregiver and can include identity theft, forging of the person’s signature, stealing income checks, cash or household goods or misusing credit cards, accounts or personal checks.

The NursingHomeAbuseGuide reminds that abuse is not just about family members or caregivers. The elderly can also be abused by other residents in the home where they live. This is a serious, common problems in many nursing homes throughout the country.