According to the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA), the United States has reached the greatest number of people age 65 and older in census history. And the population of older citizens is only growing. In fact, it is projected that 20 percent of the U.S. population will be comprised of people age 65 and older by 2050.
The increasing population of elderly family members means that more and more families are turning to nursing homes to help care for their older loved ones. Unfortunately, that also means that more parents, aunts, uncles and grandparents are becoming the victims of nursing home abuse and their families don’t even know what the signs look like.
In 2000, the NCEA found in a study that, out of 2,000 nursing home residents, about 44 percent had reported abuse by their caretakers and 95 percent reported either suffering from neglect or seeing other residents seriously neglected. In addition, nursing home workers are poorly trained and not educated on the specific needs that older patients, including dementia patients, need. Specific precautions need to be taken in these facilities to prevent falls and other mishaps for which nursing home residents are at risk.
Alarmingly, the NCEA also found that abuse is more likely among older residents or those with significant disabilities.
Considering that even “modest abuse” can increase the risk of death among the elderly by 300 percent, according to the Journal of American Medicine, elder abuse is not only reprehensible but also potentially deadly.
If your loved one is a nursing home resident, learn the signs of elder abuse and visit your loved one frequently. Do not hesitate to speak with an experienced Georgia nursing home abuse attorney at Grant Law Office to learn more about protecting your loved one.