Currently, the United States is experiencing a high volume of elderly in the population. With such great numbers, nursing homes across the country are finding themselves overwhelmed with patients. Sadly, to meet those demands, nursing homes are hiring inadequately trained staff or staff that have not undergone proper background checks.
With more patients than there are care professionals and the dwindling numbers of qualified caretakers, elderly residents of nursing homes are susceptible to neglect and abuse.
According to the National Center on Elder Abuse, the greatest number of people aged 65 and older was in 2010, which accounted for 13 percent of the total population. The Boomer Generation is expected to continue growing, and from 2012 to 2050 it is projected that the United States will have a spike in their older population.
By 2050, the population of 65 and older is projected at 83.7 million, which is double that of the 2012 estimates.
Elder abuse is widely underreported. In fact, one New York State study found that for every known case, they expected 24 to be unreported.
Elder abuse tends to be predominantly physical abuse, while verbal and sexual abuse follows in second and financial exploitation in the third.
Studies suggest that certain risk factors might make a patient at higher risk of becoming a victim of elder abuse, these risk factors include:
Did you know that certain types of people are more likely to abuse an elderly patient than others?
The perpetrators are usually adult children and spouses. However, in a nursing home, the perpetrators are more apt to be male and have a history of substance abuse. Social isolation and unemployment can lead to higher rates of abuse too.
Family members are sadly the biggest abusers. However, the nursing home studies have found that strangers still constitute more than half of the arrested perpetrators, and the business sector sees more Medicare and Medicaid fraud.
When you first tour a nursing home, you are greeted with friendly staff members. However, they knew you were coming. You scheduled your tour appointment ahead of time, and they had adequate time to prepare.
Most abuse is done behind closed doors, and you cannot readily see the evidence.
Whether you are looking at nursing home options for a loved one, or you are worried that your current nursing home is not the right choice for your family member, be on the lookout for the red flags.
Some warning signs are subtle, while other times they are obvious. Regardless, if you know what to look for, then you are better prepared to understand what you are seeing and act.
Elder abuse is the mistreatment that occurs in a nursing home or assisted living facility. It is referred to as institutional abuse, and it is done by those with legal obligations to care for their residents. They are supposed to provide loved ones with protection, health, and keep them safe from harm.
Abuse ranges from physical to sexual and sometimes psychological. They can also include a combination of different forms of ill-treatment, and the goal is to control the individual.
Realize that neglect and abuse are two different forms of mistreatment. However, they are both very serious and life-threatening. Therefore, you must know the various signs of neglect and ill-treatment, while sometimes the two can overlap, to identify what hazards your loved one might face.
Nursing home neglect is like abuse in a few ways, but they are not the same. Nursing home neglect is a breach of duty or providing substandard care to a resident. The violation must result in a foreseeable outcome, such as poor health due to lack of nutrition.
There are multiple types of nursing home neglect too, including:
If you suspect that your loved one is the victim of nursing home neglect, the following warning signs might apply:
Nursing home abuse is the physical, emotional, and financial exploitation of the patient in the nursing home. Nursing home staff not only must care for a patient, but not intentionally cause them harm.
Some common signs of nursing home abuse include:
A good nursing home can turn bad after several staff changeouts or when they become overrun with patients. Therefore, always visit your loved one as often as you can and be on the lookout for these indicators of abuse and neglect.
You are your family member’s first line of defense and often the only line of defense. Nursing homes, including those with state funding, are never inspected as often as they should, and that means abuse and neglect are only caught by those who frequent the facility.
If the nursing home staff abused your loved one, contact the attorneys at Malman Law today.
We hold nursing homes accountable for neglect and abuse, and we ensure that the patients there are protected. We not only seek compensation, but we ensure that the nursing home is used as an example to others of what behavior our society will not tolerate.
Schedule your consultation with our advocates now to discuss your case at (888) 625-6265 or request more information online.
Malman Law’s founder Attorney Steven Malman has over 30 years of experience handling personal injury, nursing home, medical malpractice, truck accidents, car accidents, premises liability, construction, and workers’ compensation cases in Chicago, IL.
Years of experience: +30 years
Illinois Registration Status: Active and authorized to practice law—Last Registered Year: 2023