Nursing Home Abuse: When Your Worst Fears Are True
It’s one of those subjects that no one wants to believe is true. However, the truth is that nursing home abuse does exist. When you put your trust into elderly care professionals, the last thing you want to suspect is they have become victims of abuse. It doesn’t happen all the time though, so if you are thinking about sending your parents into a care home, then there are plenty of home care options available. However, it is always a good idea to remember to bare in mind that things can happen unfortunately.
There are all kinds of issues that occur in nursing homes. You may become suspicious when you see that your loved one is covered in bed sores. This could mean that he or she is just lying in bed and not helped to change positions.
Sadly, nursing home abuse is often overlooked when family members are led to believe the patient is making up stories. After all, it’s all part of the aging process, right? Although some elderly adults may have memory issues, you should always consider what they tell you. Claims of physical attacks and even sexual abuse are too often valid.
A Long-Standing Problem in Nursing Homes
The National Council on Aging reports that ten percent of Americans over sixty have experienced some kind of elder abuse, whether it’s physical, emotional, financial or even sexual. More than three million Americans currently reside in nursing homes. Most of these residents are over the age of sixty. They can very easily be our parents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles. If you don’t think it could happen to your family, consider these stats from the National Center for Elder Abuse:
- Over forty percent of nursing home patients reported abuse in a landmark study
- Over ninety percent of these patients reported neglect, either of themselves or others
It would be nice to think that the nursing home industry has gotten better or much trustworthy over the past few decades, but there is still rampant abuse even today. A 2010 report published in the Journal of the American Medical Association revealed that elderly nursing home patients who experience abuse were at a 300 percent higher risk of death.
Candidly, these numbers are more than a little bit alarming. No one places their loved one in residential care and expects them to be mistreated. You should be concerned with anything out of the ordinary. Ask for explanations of any unsightly bruising, broken bones or signs of neglect.
Did your loved one fall out of bed or out of a wheelchair? How did it happen? Are you concerned that your older relative seems overmedicated? Go by your instincts and have it checked. You should speak with an experienced personal injury attorney to investigate your suspicions.
It Could Happen to Anyone
We never want to think that our elderly loved ones are vulnerable to abuse. Very often, it’s family who guides them into nursing homes in the first place. The guilt of knowing they’re being abused or neglected by people we left in charge of their care can be incredibly painful. The attorneys at Beninato and Matrafaljo are ready to help you fight back and reclaim your elderly loved one’s dignity. Contact us today for a free, no-obligation consultation.