For many of us, taking care of older loved ones and family members is a part of life. Unfortunately, busy schedules often prevent us from providing the amount of attention they need, while their medical condition may make being in a nursing home or long-term care facility more practical. In these situations, it is important to be alert to any signs that elder abuse or neglect is occurring. A new report indicates that incidents of abuse occur more commonly than most people think and often end up going unreported by the victims and the nursing home administrators involved.
Elder Abuse and Nursing Home Neglect
According to an investigative report by National Public Radio (NPR), elder abuse and nursing home neglect may be far more rampant than statistics would have us believe. The report states that as many as one quarter of all cases in which those over the age of 65 are abused or neglected by their caregivers are not reported to police, even though it is required under both state and federal laws. These cases are not minor incidents, but rather involve serious allegations in which victims suffered potentially life-threatening injuries.
Multiple studies have concluded that five million seniors are victims of abuse each year. Approximately 25 percent of nursing home residents experience at least one incident of physical abuse, yet only one in 14 incidents of elder abuse are formally reported.
Signs of Elder Abuse
Elder abuse can take many forms. It may involve physical violence, threats, or sexual assault, all of which can leave the victim depressed, withdrawn, and fearful of speaking out. In some situations, it may involve financial fraud or theft, which victims are often ashamed to admit or unaware that it has occurred. In still other cases, abuse is in the form of neglect, where nursing home residents fail to get the proper medical care, feeding, and attention they need and deserve.
Anytime you have an older loved one being provided with care from others you need to be vigilant. This is even more so the case in situations where the person suffers dementia or other conditions which impair their ability to communicate. Signs to look for that may indicate abuse is occurring include:
Call Us for Help Today
An attorney can help put a stop to it while holding guilty parties accountable. If you suspect a loved one is being abused, contact our skilled elder abuse attorneys, like a Nursing Home Malpractice Lawyers in Phoenix, AZ, immediately.
Thank you to the experts at Rispoli Law, PPLC, for their input into nursing home law.