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Elder Abuse in Nursing Homes: A Bigger Problem Than You Think
People live longer now. And, thanks to the Boomer Generation, we’re talking a lot of people. The 2010 Census recorded the greatest number of people 65 years and older in census history. Currently, people age 85 and older are the FASTEST growing segment of the U.S. population. What’s more, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, around 20 percent of the total U.S. population will be composed of senior citizens by the year 2050.
In this day and age, many of us will be lucky enough to live for a very, very long time. Unfortunately, there’s a serious drawback to a long life, and that is quality of life for those final years.
You might think it couldn’t happen to your loved one, but nursing home abuse is on the rise — and it is surprisingly common, according to recent government studies: http://www.ncea.aoa.gov/Library/Data/
Elder abuse can be so severe that it causes loss of life, severe injury and oftentimes a great financial burden for the victim and his or her family. However, the signs of elder abuse may be difficult to recognize, thanks in part to the fact that these elders no longer live at home.
If you know someone in a nursing home today, here’s what you need to look out for:
- Physical signs of abuse such as bruising, falls, broken bones, bed sores, black eyes, cuts, or scarring
- A dramatic decrease in physical or emotional health
- Fear or hesitation on behalf of the elder when they receive care, treatment, or assistance from staff members
- Lack or delay of medical treatment
- Incomplete health reports, information regarding elder care, or being unable to talk to elders on the phone for extended periods of time
- Increase in elder hospitalization or required treatments and/or medication
If you or someone you know was abused in a nursing home, you may have legal rights.
A nursing home abuse attorney may be able to help you and your family fight back against the loved one’s abuse. In turn… that’s helping all of us. Because, if we’re lucky enough, one day we’ll be in our elders’ shoes. Let’s make sure they (and ultimately, we) are treated with respect and care.