Imagining an elderly relative being abused in a place that is supposed to be caring for them can be all too overwhelming. Statistics show that the occurrence of nursing home abuse is higher than most people think, and it can be disheartening to realize that your cherished person could be a victim. At its broadest scope, more than two million cases of senior abuse are reported each year, and around 1 out of every 10 seniors will endure some form of abuse while staying at a nursing home or care facility. Sadly, these figures show an epidemic of violating a population of people who tend to be vulnerable in the first place. And it points to the issue that those who are hired to care for seniors may be engaging in exactly the opposite.
When placing a senior relative into a nursing home, most families are going to do their best to find a safe and comfortable place. But sometimes even the most appealing nursing home has hidden incidents of abuse and could even be going through a lawsuit at the very same time more senior people are entering the facility. It can be difficult to know whether a nursing home is safe or not, but doing a thorough search online can give relatives a better idea of whether it’s the best place for their loved one.
When these institutions assume the duty of caring for an elderly person, a relationship of trust is created between the resident, the facility, and the family. But when this trust is broken, family members may be understandably irate and looking to sue the facility to recover compensation for injuries and what their relative has been through. Upon realizing that abuse is happening, many families visit with a nursing home abuse law firm for help safely relocating their relative and holding the offending caregivers and facility responsible for what happened.
It’s important to keep in mind that elderly abuse does not have to be exclusively violent or physical in nature either. For instance, abuse and neglect can entail threats, intimidation, mocking, failing to provide sufficient food and water, abandonment, hindering social opportunities, and financial exploitation. Because a senior resident is relatively dependent and isolated in a nursing home, it means a high degree of care is needed and owed, and any incidents of neglect or abuse can have lasting consequences to their health and wellbeing.
As a team member from Cohen & Cohen explains, the impacts of nursing home abuse can be long-term and devastating for the victim. If you observe any changes to your loved one’s behavior, personality, or health without proper explanation, then abuse or neglect could be the culprit. Many victims are afraid to tell their family about what is happening, out of fear that if they are not believed the mistreatment will worsen. Those who have mental or physical limitations may not be able to verbally express what is going on, so immediate intervention and an investigation should occur if signs of possible mistreatment are present.