The Silent Danger Elderly Americans Face

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By nature, the word neglect creates a feeling of passivity and, although it is the result of inaction, the consequences can be truly devastating. Reported instances of nursing home neglect account for a large portion elder abuse cases. The US Administration on Aging (AoA) reports that each year there are at least 2.1 million cases of elder abuse. Of those, around half involve neglect. Even more alarming are the statistics published by the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA). For each case of elder abuse that's reported, another 13 instances are never brought to the attention of the authorities. In one study, 95-percent of residents in long-term care facilities reported that they'd either been neglected or had witnessed nursing home neglect. Signs of Neglect In most cases, the person who is not being cared for properly will not speak up. This makes it a silent danger. Some feel ashamed, as if they were to blame for their poor treatment. Others fear what will happen to them, or worry about retaliation from their abusers. Those who have been abused often have low self-esteem or suffer from depression as a result of the mistreatment.This makes them less likely to tell anyone what is happening. For these reasons, caretakers, friends and family need to be vigilant and look for signs of elder abuse. A few things that may be noticed include:

  • Bruises and wounds from falls due to unsafe conditions
  • Bedsores and other untreated wounds
  • Lack of personal hygiene
  • Unsafe, uninhabitable, or unhygienic living conditions
  • Clothing that's unsuitable for the weather or is badly worn
  • Rapid weight loss, malnutrition or dehydration

Risk Factors Risk can be broken into two groups. The first set involves factors that may influence how likely a person is to abuse the elderly. In a long-term care facility, some of them include the number of residents versus the amount of staff, on-site support or back-up, staff that is overworked by additional duties, poor training, and poor working conditions. The second group of risk factors pertains to the likelihood a person is to be abused. Although it happens to elderly of any age, race, and gender, women are more likely to be neglected and the probability of it happening rises with a person's age. Additionally, a person's inability to communicate well, the amount of care needed, and lack of visits from family and friends can increase the chances of a person's needs not being met. Prevention In most cases, neglect is unintentional. Long-term care facilities often have numerous checks in place to ensure residents receive the care they deserve. It takes multiple systems to collapse and numerous caregivers to fail in their duties. However, when this happens, the results are catastrophic and there are often many people within a residence who have been abused. Homes have a responsibility to maintain standards and must go through a series of quality checks to remain open. Additionally, visitors, friends and family should be aware of the warning signs and follow-up when they notice any areas of concern.

Charleston Nursing Home Neglect Attorney

If your loved one is being abused or neglected in a long-term care facility, take action to ensure their safety and well-being immediately. After that, fill out our online form, or call one of our attorneys at 1(800)610-2546. Compensation for medical treatment, moving to a new facility, or for pain and suffering may be due, and safeguards may be put in place to ensure no one else suffers at the hands of the same abuser.

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Clore Law Group welcomes your questions about any issues concerning a serious personal injury, car accident, medical malpractice, nursing home neglect, business tort, or workplace injury. If you have a viable claim, we’ll explain the legal process. Since consultations are always free, there’s no cost in learning your legal options.