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Nursing Home Abuse: Who Are the Abusers?
Making the decision to place an elderly loved one in a nursing home facility is not easy. Amongst the many hesitations and concerns most of us have about making this difficult decision is the possibility of subjecting our elderly loved ones to nursing home abuse and neglect.
This concern is not too far of a reach since studies and reports clearly show that nursing home abuse and neglect has become a major problem. This is especially a problem given the fact that approximately 40.3 million, or 13% of the total population, consists of individuals 65 years of age or older and about 3.2 million of these elderly individuals reside in nursing home facilities.
The Horrifying Statistics of Nursing Home Elder Abuse
According to a study conducted by the researchers at Cornell University-Weill Cornell Medical College, 19.8 percent of nursing home residents surveyed have been subjected to some type of abuse and/or neglect at their facility, including verbal, physical or sexual abuse. The research was based on five years of observations and interviews of more than 2,000 residents at nursing homes. The researchers also interviewed staff, read incident reports and asked residents and staff members to complete a research-based questionnaire.
Yet another study that interviewed 2,000 nursing home residents reported that 44 percent of nursing home residents had been abused and 95 percent said they had been neglected or seen another resident neglected.
Who Are the Abusers?
With elder abuse being such a concern, we should know who the potential abusers are. The majority of neglect and abuse is done at the hands of the nursing home workers and directors. The staff is generally the first to blame for any type of abuse and/or neglect since they have the most interaction with the elderly residents.
However, other culprits of abuse, who we may perceive to be unlikely abusers, are the actual residents of the facility. Residents can easily subject each other to verbal abuse, intrusions on privacy, physical abuse and sexual abuse (such as exposure of genitals and unwanted touching).
Recognizing the Sign of Nursing Home Abuse
The signs of nursing home abuse can be hard to detect. One way to detect the common signs of nursing home elderly abuse and/or neglect is to visit the facility frequently. Some common symptoms include:
- Emotionally upset or agitated, extremely withdrawn and non-communicative
- Falls, fractures or head injuries
- Bed sores or pressure ulcers
- Unsanitary and unclean conditions
- Unusual or sudden changes in behavior
- Unexplained injuries, such as cuts and bruises
- Unexplained death
If you suspect that you elderly loved one has been abused and/or neglected in a nursing home facility, you need to make it a priority to look for an experienced attorney who will work hard to help you seek the damages from the parties responsible for your loved one’s injuries. For more information or to schedule a complimentary consultation with a New Jersey nursing home abuse attorney, please call the Law Offices of Dan T. Matrafajlo at (908) 248-4404.