Nursing home abuse on the rise

The number of people who are living to a very old age has increased over the last several years. Many of those people are residents in nursing homes. With the fast-paced lives of the younger relatives of the seniors, there are times when not enough attention is being paid to the older generation. People choose nursing homes based on the quality of care and attention that the residents will receive. However, sometimes Illinois elder abuse occurs.

According to the National Institute on Aging, the current estimate of people who suffer from nursing home abuse is reportedly almost at 2 million. This number includes neglect and abuse from caregivers and family members as well. A study was conducted in which 2,000 residents from nursing home facilities were interviewed. Forty-four percent said that they were abused, and 95 percent said that they experienced neglect or have seen other residents experience neglect.

Elder abuse may be more likely to happen in nursing homes that are understaffed and ones in which employees earn low wages. Nursing homes that are understaffed may not satisfy all of the needs of the residents, which can result in malnutrition, dehydration, bed sores and possibly death. However, if the employees feel valued, earn good pay and work in a healthy workplace, it is expected that the treatment of residents will be better.

Laws are in place to protect seniors from mistreatment and neglect. If a senior shows signs of mistreatment, relatives may request an investigation from a nursing home administrator. However, they may also wish to pursue a lawsuit. The victim has a chance to receive damages if neglect can be proven.

Source: HealthCentral, “Elder Abuse in Nursing Homes,” Christine Kennard, Oct. 15, 2012