Nursing Home Abuse is On the Rise

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Elder abuse is a heart wrenching issue—one that is unfortunately on the rise, even in our watchdog of a modern society.  Statistics have shown that nearly 5 million elders suffer from abuse each year with one study reporting 24% of nursing home residents experiencing at least one instance of physical abuse.  According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “elder abuse is a significant public health problem” and 1 out of every 10 people age 60 and older experiences various forms of neglect and exploitation.

Nursing home abuse can manifest in numerous ways: physical abuse, the infliction of pain or injury; sexual abuse, inappropriate touching or sexual activity with an older adult who cannot consent, does not consent, is threatened, or forced; emotional abuse, verbal threats, harassment, and intimidation; confinement; passive neglect in which a caregiver fails to provide an elder with necessities; willful deprivation, denying an elder necessities outright; and financial exploitation, the abuse or withholding of the older adult’s resources.

The reality of nursing home abuse can be faced on a criminal level, and in fact, many states have implemented laws that penalize those who have victimized older adults.  For older adults who have faced abuse, their risk of death increases by 300% compared to those who have not been abused.  Because of these startling statistics, elder justice laws have been set in place, varying state by state, and there are attorneys who specialize in taking on these cases, seeking out justice for older adults who have experienced any type of nursing home abuse.

Warning signs can arise in older adults differently, depending on which form of nursing home abuse is inflicted.  Your loved one may demonstrated signs of nursing home neglect such as bedsores, poor hygiene, a change in emotional responsiveness and alertness, withdrawal, or becoming argumentative or terse.  Physical abuse can appear in the form of bruises, pressure marks, broken bones, or scrapes or abrasions, indicating clear signs of mistreatment or neglect.  Nursing home abuse can appear as financial abuse as well, when suddenly the older adult has unexpected changes in their finances or valuables.

Preventative steps can be taken, like seeking legal advice early on to ensure financial stability and protection, searching for a reputable nursing home with a qualified staff, and staying connected to trusted family members, the community, and friends. An attorney can also assist in establishing a living will, cementing your medical and health care decisions with legality, and be an extra pair of eyes to any documents or paperwork that require signing.

Nursing home abuse is an under reported issue plaguing our society, our loved ones, and as we age, it will eventually affect us as well.  According to the American Society on Aging in 2012, nearly 87% of Adult Protective Services (ASA) saw an increase of the number of reports and caseloads of elder abuse over the previous five years.  ASA also reports that the direct expense that amounts from financial exploitation of an older adult was estimated to be $2.9 billion in 2011, an astounding 12% increase from 2008.

At Aronberg, Aronberg, and Green, our team of experienced, seasoned attorneys have accomplished history in elder and nursing home abuse cases, ensuring that our clients and their loved ones see the justice they deserve.  We are finely tuned to the Florida laws on the types of elder and nursing home abuse, fortified with years of successful settlements, claims, and casework, and driven by a passion to find a meaningful conclusion for our clients’ and their loved ones’ difficult situations.

June 4, 2019 · Editorial Team · Comments Closed
Posted in: News