NEW ORLEANS, LA / ACCESSWIRE / December 1, 2022 / It's a terrible thing to imagine: you and your family make the difficult decision to put a loved one into the care of a nursing home, only to discover they're being hurt. Nursing home abuse is an ongoing problem in the elder care system, yet many people don't know just how common it is.
The number of (reported) cases in 2020 topped 15,000, with physical abuse accounting for 29% of these. Abuse between residents, financial exploitation, and psychological, sexual, and overall neglect rounding out the main six categories. The National Council on Aging (NCOA) reported that financial abuse of elderly people in the United States accounted for an estimated annual cost of $36.5 billion. The NCOA also reports that elders who are abused have a 300% higher risk of death than elders who are treated well at their nursing homes.
Luckily, there are a number of clear warning signs to look for so you can prevent or stop abuse happening to your loved one:
- Physical: bruising, dehydration, missing necessary items (medication, glasses, etc.)
- Emotional: isolation, a marked change in mood or personality, increased fear, anxiety, depression, withdrawal from favorite activities or people
- Financial: sudden changes in spending that don't reflect the elder person's needs or tastes, forged signatures, late bills/bills gone into collection
Nursing Home neglect is an especially complex situation, as it can incorporate all of the types of abuse above, together with abandoning the elder person. Sometimes, neglect isn't a result of cruelty or lack of professionalism, but of underfunding.
Ongoing issues like the COVID-19 pandemic and related public health crises, staff shortages, and funding cuts have left many nursing homes without the adequate number of staff to care for patients. Changes in healthcare coverage also account for some elderly people needing to find care in the least expensive facilities, which sometimes also mean they're not getting cared for by people with enough training or enough time.
In 2021, President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan into law, which introduces relief and resources to elders so they can afford better care. Better care greatly reduces the likelihood that elders will end up in unsafe situations.
There are a variety of other laws and services in place designed to protect elders and ensure they get the best care possible. These include:
- The Elder Care Justice Act, designed to fund programs and legal support for elders and their families to seek justice in abuse cases, and develop ongoing elder support programs.
- The Older Americans Act Programs, a combination of thorough programs and laws that cover everything from the right nutrition and transportation for seniors, to legal, medical, and at-home resources for elders at any stage of their care journey.
Although the problem is still largely underreported, nursing home abuse and neglect has become visible enough for there to be a World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. Since 2006, the World Elder Abuse Awareness Day has been a day of education and action every June 15th. Elders and their families, health professionals, and the public at large can learn more about the issue of elder abuse, and help to make the problem a thing of the past.
Gertler Accident & Injury Attorneys in New Orleans is committed to helping families find justice in abuse cases. After noting a 22% increase in calls reporting neglect or abuse from distraught family members, the attorneys at Gertler Accident & Injury Attorneys want to help put an end to this endemic problem.
If you suspect or discover that your loved one is being abused and/or neglected at their nursing home, call us for help.
Company Name: Gertler Accident & Injury Attorneys
Contact Name: Mike Gertler
Phone Number: (877) 581-6411
Email Address: [email protected]
Website Link(s): https://www.neworleanspersonalinjury.com
SOURCE: Gertler Accident & Injury Attorneys