According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), there are already 1.4 million aging adult seniors who live in nursing homes across America. In the next three decades, it’s estimated that this number will double. The growing numbers of our parents, grandparents, and other loved ones living in nursing homes are creating certain complications, from reduced oversight to decreased budgets, all of which can lead to abuse in these facilities.
At the Law Offices of Vincent J. Ciecka, we’re not just the premier auto accident attorney in New Jersey. We’re also dedicated to protecting the exploding number of Baby Boomers aged 65+ who reside and are abused in nursing homes. Let’s examine this epidemic, and what we can all do to stop it:
By the Numbers
There are over 15,000 nursing homes in the USA, according to the CDC. While data on neglect and abuse can be hard to come by, recent studies have shed light on the subject. For instance, a special investigation by CNN showed that over 1,000 of these nursing homes were cited for mishandling cases of alleged abuse or sexual assault between 2013-2016.
Additionally, another study by the World Health Organization (WHO) showed that nearly 36% of nursing home staff members had witnessed at least one incident of the physical abuse of an elderly patient in the last year. These numbers are both daunting and problematic.
Know the Signs
Abuse can take many forms—mental, physical, emotional, sexual, and even financial.
Keep an eye out for warning signs such as:
- Mood swings
- Broken bones
- Bruising or cuts
- Unexplained weight loss
- Refusal to take medication
- A sudden change in financial status
- Missing personal items
Protecting Your Loved Ones
Choosing the right caregiver facility or nursing home is a critical first step to ensuring the safety and protection of your loved one. When making your selection, be sure to speak with other residents and patients to check their well-being and observe how they behave. If possible, talk to their families as well to gain valuable information from their experiences.
Always read any contracts thoroughly before signing. If there is a forced arbitration clause, ask for it to be removed or look for another facility. Frequent visits to the nursing home are another way to assess the level of care provided to your loved one. Visit at different times of the day, and on different days if possible.
A Perfect Storm
The increasing number of seniors requiring more care, combined with reduced staffing and lack of government oversight is creating the perfect storm and leading to the prevalence of elder abuse. We all need to be vigilant and put a stop to this behavior and allow our loved ones to live their days in peace, serenity, and safety.
For more information on elder abuse, or for a car accident lawyer in Burlington County, call the Law Offices of Vincent J. Ciecka at 856-283-0589 today.