As Americans enjoy extended life spans, the elderly population grows. In fact, the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA) estimates that the elderly population of those 65 and over will increase to 83.7 million by 2050. In many cases, the elderly require constant care from trained professions/caregivers available only in nursing homes and assisted living facilities. As a result, in 2014, there were 1.4 million nursing home residents.
Many families entrust their loved ones to nursing or extended-living care facilities when they can longer provide the care and attention that they require. Finding the right facility to care for an elderly family member can often be a challenging endeavor. Given the level of care expected for our loved ones, we go to great lengths to ensure that the facility we choose is looking after the best interests of their residents. While most nursing homes provide quality care to their elderly residents, the fact remains that nursing home abuse and negligence continues to be a national epidemic. According to the National Ombudsman Reporting System (NORS) data, in 2014 there were 188,599 complaints filed against elder care facilities; of these complaints, 14,258 (7.6%) involved incidents of abuse, and neglect. Unfortunately, most complaints of elderly abuse and injury go unreported.
There are a number of ways elder abuse can occur in nursing homes or similar care facilities. The most common forms of abuse involve emotional trauma, including shouting, criticism, social isolation, neglect, and threats. This form of abuse negatively impacts an individual’s emotional well-being and is considered negligence on the part of the facility and its staff.
Another serious concern is financial exploitation of vulnerable elderly residents. Nursing home residents are frequently forced by their caregivers to disclose and/or permit access to sensitive personal information such as bank accounts, credit cards, social security numbers, and even cash. This misconduct clearly violates an individual’s privacy and may lead to further instances identity theft or embezzlement. If your loved one is currently or soon to be in a nursing home, it is important to be vigilant in making sure they do not become a victim to their surroundings. It is recommended that you monitor your loved one’s personal property as well as their demeanor and emotional state. For example, it is important to observe your loved one’s behavior when a caregiver is around, question them about the type of care they are receiving, and make certain their financial affairs are in order.
In sum, nursing home negligence robs victims of their dignity, sense of security, and emotional stability. If your loved one has suffered abuse or other indignities in a nursing home, contact the New York nursing home abuse and elderly neglect attorneys of Hach & Rose, LLP, at (212) 779-0057 today.