Elder abuse is a “silent problem”, as no one knows exactly how many of our nation’s elderly are being exploited, neglected or abused. However, evidence suggests that there are thousands of elderly people being harmed in the United States every day.
Instances of Abuse Appear to Be on the Rise
As the U.S. population ages, more Americans find themselves in need of the services of a nursing home or assisted living facility where their loved ones or themselves can receive daily care. Many others are dependent on caretakers to meet their basic daily needs, including medical care, feeding assistance, personal hygiene routine, physical therapy, or supervision at all time.
Unfortunately, too many stories relate cases of neglect or abuse perpetrated by caretakers. If your loved ones have been injured because a nursing home failed to provide adequate care or because a caretaker was abusive, you can seek justice and compensation.
The best statistics about incidents of abuse involving elderly residents in nursing homes and care facilities in the United States are both staggering and disheartening. At the broadest level, more than two million cases of elder abuse are reported every year, and almost one out of every ten elderly individuals will experience some form of elder abuse. Moreover, the overwhelming majority of abuse incidents remain unreported, explaining why statistics are often incomplete.
Nursing Home Care Expectations
Of course, around-the-clock care is a service with many important responsibilities. Families all around Florida pay high dollar amounts for nursing home care under the assumption that it will be gently provided by professional staff. We all want to be sure our loved ones are in a safe environment with compassionate, professional and helpful beings. Unfortunately, as the demand for elderly care grows, the burden on our medical system is increasing at a rapid pace. The least we can say is that many companies that are supposed to provide nursing home services are not doing enough to make sure that every resident gets the attention they need and deserve.
Corners are being cut in some of the worst places possible. For example, employees in some facilities are inexperienced, overworked or under-qualified to provide the minimum necessary standard of care to all residents. Additionally, the facility may be more interested in profits than proper care and not adequately staff their facilities. If many caretakers are passionate and dedicated people who actually take their job seriously, they are still not enough to counterbalance the lack of staff, funds, and professionalism that is taking over the nursing homes.
Nursing Home Abuse or Neglect
Many residents of nursing homes and assisted living facilities suffer from some sort of abuse or neglect, with neglect being the most common form of mistreatment. Examples of neglect include malnourishment, dehydration, and bed sores. Physical and psychological abuse are also common forms of mistreatment of the elderly. In this case, the victim’s physical and mental health will deteriorate and result in their inability to report the neglect or abuse that is happening to them. Many people will feel unsafe and be scared to talk to someone, whether to their family members or to another nursing home employee.
What is the Impact of Elder Abuse?
According to the National Center on Elder Abuse, Elders who experienced abuse, even modest abuse, had a 300% higher risk of death when compared to those who had not been abused.
Elder abuse has countless negative impacts on the victim including physical, psychological, social, medical and others.
- Physical: the most commonly documented impacts of elder abuse are welts, wound and injuries (bruises, lacerations, dental problems, head injuries, broken bones, pressure sores), persistent pain and soreness, nutrition/hydration issues, sleep disturbances, increased susceptibility to new illnesses (including sexually transmitted diseases), exacerbation of pre-existing health conditions, and increased risk of premature death.
- Psychological: Established psychological impacts include levels of psychological distress, emotional symptoms, and depression higher than those observed among elders who have not experienced these exposures. It was proven that verbal abuse can lead to greater declines in mental health than physical abuse only.
- Social: Social consequences may vary from increased social isolation (due to self-withdrawal or perpetrator imposition) to decreased social resources (social identities, supports, roles in key networks) and increased expenditures on services to compensate for resources lost through exploitation and to identify and rehabilitate elder abuse victims.
Our Tampa Nursing Home Attorneys can Help
If you have been injured or know someone who has suffered injuries, psychological distress or has died as a result of nursing home neglect or abuse, you need to call a Tampa nursing home attorney at Ligori Law.
Abusive caregivers ravage the lives of their victim and entire families. They also betray the public trust granted to caregivers who have such intimate access to the sick and elderly. Someone who violated a position of authority and trust can’t go on with it. Be the voice of your loved ones and seek justice for them.
Contact us at 877-444-2929 for a free consultation with an experienced lawyer.