legal resources necessary to hold negligent facilities accountable.
Elderly Abuse Prevention
Elder abuse is a serious issue that can have devastating consequences for nursing home residents.
Nurses, doctors, and health care providers are uniquely positioned to help protect older adults from abuse. However, many of them may not be aware of the signs of elder abuse or how to respond if they suspect abuse is taking place.
The nursing home abuse attorneys at Nursing Home Law Center can provide health care professionals with information and resources on elder abuse prevention. We can also help residents and their families file a claim for compensation if they have been injured due to older adult abuse.
Contact our law firm at (800) 926-7565 for more information on your legal options for holding those responsible accountable.Elder Abuse Statistics and Facts
Elder abuse is rampant in the United States. According to the National Center on Elder Abuse, 1 in 10 older Americans who reside in an assisted living facility or a long-term care facility are abused. That's over 1.5 million elders who are abused or neglected annually! Nearly twice that many are neglected each year.
These numbers are likely just a fraction of the true extent of the problem, as elder abuse is often underreported. Many victims are too afraid or ashamed to speak up, and many cases go unnoticed or unreported because the families and friends are unaware that abuse is taking place.
Some facts about older adult abuse:
- Most elder abuse is an intentional act committed by family members or friends of the victim.
- It is estimated that only 1 out of every 24 elder abuse cases is ever reported to authorities, meaning that the true extent of the problem is likely much worse than these numbers suggest.
- It is often difficult to detect elder abuse, as abused residents often feel ashamed or scared to report elder abuse. Family members or friends are typically the best people to look for signs of elder abuse, as they may be more likely to notice if something is wrong.
- Financial abuse is the most common type of elder abuse, accounting for about 60% of all cases. This type of abuse can take many forms, such as stealing money or possessions, fraudulently taking out loans in the victim's name, or cashing their pension checks without permission.
- Physical abuse is the most likely type of abuse to result in death, followed by neglect.
The statistics and facts above paint a sobering picture of the extent of elder abuse in the United States. It is a serious problem that too often goes undetected and unreported.Types of Elder Abuse
According to the National Council on Aging (NCOA), there are several different types of elder abuse, which can be categorized into five main groups:
Physical abuse involves inflicting physical pain or bodily harm on an elder, whether through intentional harm or physical force. Other forms of physical abuse can be denying nursing home residents enough food, glasses, and hearing aids.
Emotional abuse occurs in nursing homes when staff members or other residents bully, harass or intimidate the elderly. It can cause much psychological distress and lead to serious health problems. The abuser may also withhold love or support, damaging the victim's emotional well-being.
Elder sexual abuse is a horrifying reality that often goes unreported. It can involve unwanted touching to rape. Frequently, the abuser is someone known to the victim, such as a family member or a nursing home caregiver.
Financial exploitation is a form of mistreatment that involves stealing from or pressuring an older person to give away their money or property. It can leave the victim feeling isolated, helpless, and frightened.
Neglect by Caregivers
Neglect is the most common type of elder abuse, and it can involve everything from not providing enough food or water to failing to provide necessary medical treatment. It can lead to serious health problems and even death.
If you believe that you or someone you know is a victim of elder abuse in a nursing home, it is important to speak up and get help. We offer legal services to help victims protect their rights and get the justice they deserve. Contact us today to learn more.Signs of Elder Abuse: How to Recognize Them
It can be difficult to determine if someone is being abused, but some warning signs may indicate something is wrong. Here are a few of the most common symptoms:
Some of the most common physical signs of elder abuse include:
- Bruises, cuts, and burns
- Weight loss
- Broken bones
- Sprains or dislocation
Emotional abuse can be difficult to detect, but there may be some signs that indicate that someone is being mistreated, including:
- Withdrawn behavior
- Inability to communicate
Sexual abuse could involve rape and other types of sexual abuse that are just as damaging, including:
- Unexplained injuries in the genital area
- Bruises or scratches on breasts or chest
- Rape or assault marks
Financial Abuse Signs
If you suspect that someone is being financially abused, look for the following signs:
- Significant monetary withdrawals from bank accounts
- Missing property
- Sudden changes in wills or financial documents
Neglect can be difficult to identify, so you must be on the lookout for the signs. These signs include:
- Unkempt appearance or lack of basic hygiene
- Unattended medical needs
- Poor living conditions
- Untreated bedsores
If you see any of these neglect signs, it is essential to speak up and get help.Long-Term Effects of Elder Abuse
The long-term effects of elder abuse can be devastating, both for the victim and their loved ones. Some of the most common consequences include:
Elder abuse can cause physical injuries that can be life-threatening. The injuries may be permanent and impact the victim's ability to live independently.
Emotional abuse can cause lasting psychological damage, including depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder. In addition, the victim may feel isolated and helpless and may not trust anyone.
Financial abuse can leave the victim impoverished and struggling to make ends meet. As a result, they may lose access to important economic resources and be unable to pay for basic needs like food and shelter.
Abuse can leave the victim feeling isolated and alone. They may lose contact with friends and family members and have difficulty engaging in social activities.
Lack of Support
Abusers often isolate seniors, making it difficult to get support. Victims of elder abuse may feel ashamed or embarrassed to talk about what is happening to them, leading to further isolation.
If you or someone you know is a victim of elder abuse, it is important to get help.Elder Abuse Prevention Strategies
Senior citizens' homes may lack adequate personnel to look after all residents properly. The good news is that there are steps you can take to help prevent elder abuse, including:
Ensure Your Older Adults Stay Close to Family if Possible
One of the best elder abuse prevention strategies is to keep your loved ones close by to ensure their safety. Try to have them live near you or a more immediate family member. It will help make sure that they receive regular visits, which can help reduce their risk of abuse.
Monitor the Caregivers You Trust
It's also essential to keep a close eye on the caregivers you trust. Ensure they properly care for your loved ones and aren't abusing them.
Be Aware of the Signs of Elder Abuse
Keep an eye out for the signs of elder abuse, including physical injuries, changes in eating habits, and emotional withdrawal. If you see any of these signs, it's important to take action.
Keep In Contact With Them Regularly
Make sure to stay in contact with your elderly loved ones regularly. It will help you monitor their well-being.
Join Social Support Groups
If you're worried about elder abuse, it can be helpful to join support groups. It will allow you to share your experiences with others going through the same thing. It can also be a great place to find advice and support.Protecting Older Adults From High-Risk Caregivers
It can be difficult to protect elders from high-risk caregivers, but there are steps you can take. One of the best ways to do this is by conducting background checks on all caregivers. You should also keep a close eye on them and make sure they follow your elder's care plan closely.
Install Cameras in the Home
If you're concerned about your elder's safety, you may want to install cameras in their home. It will allow you to watch and ensure the caregivers treat your loved ones with the respect and care they deserve.
Educate Yourself and Others About Elder Abuse
It's important to educate yourself and others about elder abuse, and how to take action to stop it. You can also spread awareness about how to prevent elder abuse. It can help protect many older adults from being abused.
Take Action if You Suspect Elder Abuse is Happening
If you suspect that elder abuse is happening, it's important to take action immediately. You can reach out to your local elder abuse hotline or law enforcement agency for help.
Encourage Elders to Attend Community Events
Encouraging elders to attend social activities can help reduce their risk of abuse. It will allow them to interact with others and make new friends. It can also help keep them active and engaged in their community.
Talk With Them About Financial Scams
Talking with elders about financial abuse can help protect them from being scammed to help them be more aware of common scams and how to defend themselves. You can also help them create a plan to deal with scam calls or emails.
Stay Connected With Them Online
Staying connected with elders online can help prevent abuse. You can keep an eye on their online activity and make sure scammers aren't targeting them. You can also help them stay connected with friends or a close family member online.Federal Efforts to Combat Elder Abuse
The federal government is taking steps to combat elder abuse. They have established a national resource center and created a task force to help identify elder abuse. There are also many state laws and local programs that offer resources and assistance to abused people.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has developed a program called "Stop Elder Abuse Now" (SEAN) to help raise awareness about elder abuse and provide resources for patients and their families.
The Administration on Community Living also offered an "Elder JusticeNow" program that provides information and resources on elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation.
You can find more information about federal resources to combat elder abuse at the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA) website.Things to Consider When Choosing Elder Care-Giving Facilities
Visit the facility and meet the caregivers. Make sure you feel comfortable with the people taking care of your loved ones.
Ask questions about the care provided and get a tour of the facility. It will help you make the best decision.
Interact with other residents to gauge their personal experience and happiness living at the nursing center.How Nursing Homes May Help Prevent Elder Abuse
Nursing homes can help reduce the incidence of elder mistreatment in a few ways:
- Encouraging frequent visits from volunteers and social workers to help those with mental illness
- By providing a safe and secure environment, caregivers can help keep residents from being harmed.
- By providing training for caregivers on how to identify and address elder abuse, nursing homes can create an environment where abuse is less likely to go undetected.
- Having clear policies and procedures that outline expectations for both residents and staff can help minimize the opportunity for older adult abuse.
Nursing homes can play an important role in preventing elder abuse and protecting some of our society’s most vulnerable members by taking these measures.How to Report Older Adult Abuse
If you notice elder abuse happening, it is important to report it. You can report older adult abuse in a few ways:
- Call the police
- Contact your state or regional Elder Abuse hotline
- Visit the website of the National Center on Elder Abuse for a list of state and regional hotlines by clicking here.
- Contact Adult Protective Services in your state.
Reporting elder abuse is important to help protect those who are suffering. If you notice any signs of older adult abuse, do not hesitate to reach out and report it.Protect Your Elderly Loved Ones From Abuse
At Nursing Home Law Center, we are committed to fighting older adult abuse and ensuring that our loved ones are protected.
If you or a loved one has been a victim of elder abuse or immediate danger, please contact us for a free, confidential consultation. We will review your case and discuss your legal options.
We will help you receive the justice and compensation you or your loved one deserves.