Nursing Home Abuse / Mistreatment
As the American population of baby-boomers steadily ages, the reality of placing loved ones in nursing homes or assisted care facilities is becoming more prevalent for many families. However, as more elders are left to the trust of nursing homes, the instances of nursing home neglect or abuse are rising, as well.
The National Center on Elder Abuse defines elder neglect as intentional actions causing harm or creating risk of harm to a vulnerable elder by caregiver or other person of trust. Instances of elder neglect can be common in nursing homes, especially where a multitude of residents are dependent upon the caregivers who work there and must attend to all residents. The large population of residents compared to the few caregivers employed leaves the elderly vulnerable, in addition to the various medical conditions that ultimately land people in nursing homes.
According to the website of the Goings Law Firm, LLC, nursing home neglect can take many different forms, including malnutrition, bed sores, physical, sexual and psychological abuse, and even theft.
Aside from the obvious physical effects of nursing home neglect, other impacts take a toll on the health of elders. Elder abuse has been linked to higher risk of death, feelings of lower self-efficacy and self-sufficiency, and substantial financial costs for their families, and unfortunately, cases of neglect and abuse often go overlooked.
Although the circumstances are unfortunate, many families do get justice for their loved ones through lawsuits, and according to a 2012 report, 1 in 3 nursing homes had been cited for violations of federal standards. As discussed on the website of Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ®, Whether or not the harm is intentional, abused elders and their families may have grounds for a lawsuit against the facility at fault.