Watching a loved one take up residence in a nursing home is a harrowing experience for most families, especially given the reports of nursing home abuse/neglect that are so prolific in the news and other media. It is hard to imagine that caregivers can be abusive to the most vulnerable of people—the elderly and the disabled—but it happens, and it happens a lot. Nursing home abuse and neglect can take many forms, and despite what you think, it can be difficult to detect and to prove, even among families that visit their loved ones often. If you think or know that your loved one has been abused or neglected at the hands of a caregiver in a nursing home or assisted living facility, it is important to report the abuse right away and then call Russell and Hill to speak to our legal team. We can help you weight your loved one’s legal options and help you figure out what to do next to hold the responsible parties accountable for their actions.
Statistics on Abuse
According to data collected by the Adult Protective Services:
- Approximately 4-10 percent – or 1 in 10 – elderly people experienced abuse of some kind within the previous year.
- There are countless unreported cases of neglect, abuse and exploitation of elderly individuals each year, despite the accessibility of Adult Protective Services in every state.
- Approximately 41 per 1,000 elderly individuals are financially exploited.
- Only 1 in 14 cases of elder abuse is reported to authorities.
Some additional statistics on elderly abuse includes:
- Most elderly individuals’ abusers are family members or in-home caregivers
- Approximately 3.2 million individuals in the U.S. live in nursing homes and are subjected to neglect or abuse
- About 44 percent of 2,000 nursing home residents surveyed in the year 2000 indicated they had suffered from abuse or neglect; 95 percent indicated they had been neglected by their caregivers
- Approximately 7 percent of nursing facility complaints were in regards to long-term care facilities, with the main complaints being exploitation, neglect, and abuse
What Constitutes Abuse
Elder abuse can be difficult to detect, especially when it’s happening to a patient in a residential care facility. Nursing home abuse may involve:
- Physical Abuse, such as hitting or pinching, or the lack of physical care and overuse of restraints
- Sexual abuse , including sexual attention given to a patient who is incapable of expressing their wishes or suffers a cognitive impairment such as dementia
- Psychological Abuse, such as criticizing, yelling, humiliating, or shaming the patient. This type of abuse often results in the patient experiencing behavioral changes
- Financial Exploitation, including stealing from the patient or taking advantage of access to the patients’ bank accounts or credit cards
- Neglect, such as the lack of personal hygiene care or failing to provide food, clothing, or water. Neglect is often unintentional and is usually the result of understaffing, but can contribute to serious medical problems such as bed sores, skin infections, dehydration, and malnutrition.
- Resident to Resident Abuse, including physical, sexual, or psychological abuse that is allowed to occur between nursing home residents.
Compensation for Nursing Home Abuse/Neglect Claims
Nursing homes can be hellish for the elderly and disabled. As a loved one, there is no greater gift that you can give than the gift of being an advocate for your mother, father, or other relative residing in one of these facilities. If you believe or suspect that your loved one is being abused, reach out to our Kirkland nursing home abuse/neglect legal team. Our compassionate and understanding attorneys will stand up for your loved one’s rights and hold the at-fault parties responsible for their actions. Schedule your no-cost evaluation now.