The elderly, handicapped and disabled are the most vulnerable individuals in our society, and it makes them prone to nursing home abuse. No one likes to believe that the medical providers who are paid to help our loved ones in nursing home facilities and assisted living homes are capable of abuse and neglect of individuals in their care, but the truth is that it happens, and it happens frequently. Many homes are understaffed, their staff is underpaid, and many of them are untrained or even unfit for caring for others. The industry, although regulated, has many gaps, and there are always some bad seeds that slip into the fray. SMT Legal has represented many nursing home patients and their families who have suffered abuse in these types of facilities, and we urge you to not let another moment pass before contacting us if you think your loved one is being abused.
Statistics on Abuse
According to date collected by the Adult Protective Services:
- Approximately 1 in 10 elderly people experience abuse of some kind each year.
- Countless cases of neglect, abuse, and exploitation of elderly individuals go unreported each year, despite Adult Protective Services being accessible in every state.
- About 41 per 1,000 elderly are financially exploited.
- Only 1 in 14 cases of elder abuse is ever reported to the appropriate authorities.
- Approximately 3.2 million individuals in America live in nursing homes and are neglected or abused by their caregivers.
- Approximately 44 percent of 2,000 nursing home residents surveyed in the year 2000 indicated they had been abused or neglected; of this number, 95 percent implied that they were being neglected by their caregivers.
- Most elderly abuse is conducted by family members or in-home caregivers.
- About 7 percent of nursing facility complaints regarding long-term care facilities focused on complaints of exploitation, neglect, and abuse.
Signs of Abuse
Elder abuse is often difficult to detect, especially when it’s occurring to a resident at a long-term care facility. Signs of nursing home abuse may involve:
- Behavioral changes – often the result of psychological abuse, including criticizing, yelling, humiliating, or shaming the patient.
- Bedsores and skin infections – these are often the result of neglect.
- Unexplained weight loss – a sign of a failure to provide food.