The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that, as of the beginning of 2015, over 50 million people in the United States were over 65 years old. This means that roughly 16% of the nation is considered elderly, with a projected increase over the next 40 years. The elderly population growth, which began as a result of aging baby boomers, has made the business of nursing home care extremely lucrative. As people age they require more daily help and health monitoring—and that’s why over 15,500 nursing homes are registered in the U.S., housing nearly 1.4 million residents.
Needless to say, nursing homes are obviously filling a niche in the market of health care. Unfortunately, some facilities aren’t exactly doing so safely or respectfully.
The Uncaring Faces of Nursing Home Exploitation
When you entrust a nursing home to take care of your loved one, you expect that care to be genuine. You pay for the assurance that she’ll be treated with respect and compassion, and that her needs will be fully addressed. However, this may not always be the case. According to the National Center of Elder Abuse, one in every 14 elderly patients in nursing homes are exploited.
It’s an extremely sad day when you realize that some people see the elderly as nuisances or—even worse—as marks to be taken advantage of. That sad day has arrived. An alarming number of nurses, caregivers, and nursing home staff use patients’ aging disabilities in order to exploit them.
When it comes to nursing home exploitation there are two basic forms: neglect and abuse.
Neglect is considered as any refusal or failure of caregivers or staff to adequately provide essential care or necessities to a patient. This includes failure to provide food, shelter, adequate health care, or protection. Elder neglect can manifest in several ways, such as:
- Abandonment. Leaving residents to care for themselves despite the fact that the facility is responsible for their well-being.
- Emotional or social neglect. Repeatedly ignoring residents, leaving them alone for long periods of time, or allowing caregivers to belittle patients.
- Personal hygiene neglect. Ignoring residents’ hygiene or failing to provide proper help with laundry, cleaning, bathing, oral care, etc.
- Nutritional neglect. Failure to provide food or beverages in sufficient amounts or in a form the residents can consume (for example, raw carrot sticks cannot be viewed as food for a resident who has no teeth). Failure to track a resident’s food and fluid consumption is also a form of nutritional neglect.
- Medical neglect. Failing to provide adequate health care, medication, or health concern prevention (such as ignoring or refusing to treat bed sores, wounds, or infections).
Abuse is considered to be any type of action that threatens to injure or harm a patient. This includes physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse, or financial exploitation.
- Physical abuse. Any action that threatens to cause physical pain or injury on a vulnerable elder. This includes depriving her of basic needs which could put her in harm’s way.
- Emotional abuse. Mental pain or distress caused by verbal attacks, manipulation, or physical neglect.
- Sexual abuse. Non-consensual sexual contact of any kind, including forcing a patient to witness lewd or offensive behavior.
- Financial exploitation. Illegal coercion, theft, misuse, or concealment of vulnerable patients’ funds, property, or assets.
Fighting Back to Secure Your Loved One
If you believe a loved one has or currently is suffering from nursing home malpractice and abuse, report the incident immediately to local authorities. Abuse, of any kind, is not acceptable in a supposedly caring nursing home. Once you have properly secured your loved one, you can begin your fight for justice. Reach out to us today by filling out our contact form, or call us at 877-620-3644 for a free consultation. We don’t take elder abuse lightly and neither should you. Allow us to not only get justice for you and your family, but to also stop those who are guilty of hurting others. Call now!
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