As many as five million elderly Americans are victims of elder abuse each year, according to the Senate Special Committee on Aging. Add to those numbers the senior abuse that goes unreported, along with the aging Baby Boomer generation, and that statistic has undoubtedly increased, and will continue to increase, exponentially each year.
The National Center on Elder Abuse categorizes abuse in the following ways: physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse, exploitation, neglect, and abandonment.
Neglect is the most common form of abuse of the elderly in nursing homes. Signs of abuse and neglect are sometimes obvious, sometimes not. Of course, any indication of physical trauma should be questioned, monitored, and investigated. Less obvious signs merit close attention as well, since something as seemingly minor as a change in mood may be a manifestation of, say, verbal abuse, and may trend downward from a mood change to major, debilitating depression.
Ironically, the reasons that the elderly go into nursing homes are the very same reasons that make them vulnerable, so bear in mind that no change is too insignificant to question. With frail elderly patients, everything is significant.
Nursing home abuse is always a risk factor for our aging, vulnerable elders. Friends, family and visitors must regard themselves as protectors of elders whose lives are at the mercy of those who care, or neglect to care for them. To ask questions, request information, and discuss suspicions of nursing home abuse, contact an attorney who specializes in abuse of the elderly in nursing homes.
The nursing home abuse lawyers at Johnson Law Group are well-versed in nursing home abuse case law, actions, and remedies to ensure successful outcomes. Call our office to schedule a free consultation.