When our loved ones enter a nursing home, we expect their caregivers to provide quality treatment and necessary services in a safe and comfortable environment, but this is not always the case. Really, how common are nursing home abuse and neglect? Unfortunately, about 5 million people are affected by elder abuse each year. This is unacceptable by any standard, and the problem is unlikely to abate any time soon since medical innovations are leading to rapid growth of the senior population.
If a member of your family is living at a nursing home, it is important that you keep an eye out for the signs of negligence and abuse. Some signs are subtle such as changes in mood or poor hygiene. Other signs might be more obvious such as unexplained bruises or restraint marks. At the end of the day, all it takes is one negligent or malicious caregiver to cause physical and emotional trauma to your loved one. And tragically, such mistreatment is alarmingly common in the United States.
Statistics on the Prevalence of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect
Below are a few elder abuse statistics compiled by PennyGeeks that shed light on this growing problem:
- About 1 in 10 people over the age of 60 suffer abuse, neglect, or exploitation.
- Nearly half of people with a dementia diagnosis are abused or neglected by caregivers.
- From 1999 to 2001, about one-third of all nursing homes in the United States were cited for violating federal standards.
- One study that involved about 2,000 interviews with nursing home residents determined that 44 percent had been abused and about 95 percent had been neglected or had witnessed the neglect of other residents.
How Can Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Be Prevented?
While there are many ways to prevent abuse or neglect, it all starts with acknowledging the problem and spreading awareness of it. Nursing home residents need to know what to do if they are mistreated or witness the abuse or neglect of another resident. The family members of nursing home residents need to understand the importance of staying alert to the symptoms of mistreatment.
Below are a few steps you can take to safeguard your family member from elder abuse and neglect:
- Carefully vet the nursing home by reading online testimonials and researching complaints made against the facility and its caregivers;
- During every visit, ask your loved one how they are being treated;
- Look for common signs of abuse and neglect such as unexplained injuries, changes in behavior, modifications to financial or estate documents, bedsores, STIs, and not being able to visit your family member while unsupervised; and
- Take immediate action if you suspect the abuse or neglect of a nursing home resident.
Call (727) 821-1500 to Set up a Free Case Review with a Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer in Florida
It is difficult to really see how common nursing home abuse and neglect is, but our attorneys are dedicated to providing nursing home abuse victims and their families with the aggressive legal representation they deserve. We will protect your legal rights and will do everything in our power to fight for the highest possible settlement. Contact us HERE or call (727) 821-1500 to schedule a free consultation.