According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), have estimated that nearly two million people age 65 or older are currently residents of a nursing home. There are over 16,000 operating in the U.S. However, the number of elderly people living in nursing homes is only going to increase as time goes on. Many have come to the unfortunate realization that these elderly people may not be receiving the high level of care that they deserve in these settings. Nursing home abuse and neglect is a real thing that happens when a person becomes mentally incapacitated and are forced to be under the care of others. “Elder abuse” refers to any abuse and neglect of a person aged 60 or older by a caregiver or other person in a relationship involving an expectation of trust.
The Occurrence of Elder Abuse
The sad fact of the matter is that there is no set number on exactly how many people are experiencing elder abuse or neglect, according to the Department of Health and Human Services Administration on Aging. The reason behind this is that many people are very reluctant to report incidents of abuse and neglect. This includes the victims themselves and also those who are responsible for ensuring their care. Another issue is that many people who work with the elderly lack the requisite training to properly identify the signs of abuse or neglect.
Elder Abuse From a Statistical Standpoint
In 2010, Cornell University and the New York City Department for the Aging made these findings:
- The incidence rate on elder abuse is nearly 24 times greater than the number of cases that end up being referred to places like social services, law enforcement, and legal authorities.
- What is the most common form of elder abuse? Psychological.
- In New York, approximately 260,000 elderly adults have been the victims of at least some form of abuse.
- 7-10% of all people surveyed under a “National Elder Mistreatment Study” say that they experienced some form of abuse in the previous 12 months.
Effects of Elder Abuse
Physical abuse on elderly people can result in bodily injury and permanent physical disability. As foremotional and psychological abuse, an immediate impact can be made on the victim’s mental state. It can also manifest itself in long-term physical problems. There are other forms of abuse that can have negative effects on elderly people as well – but the fact remains the same, abuse is still abuse.
You may suspect that a loved one close to you has experienced mistreatment in a nursing home. If this is the case, then the first thing that should be taken into consideration is reporting the abuse to the proper authorities. However, you may also want to seek the help of a nursing home abuse lawyer in your area. They will be able to review your potential case and discuss the overall situation and legal options involved. Call WTW to get a review and find out where you stand.