Report Shows Nursing Home And Elder Abuse, Such As Physical And Emotional Abuse, Have Risen Over The Years
According to the National Center on Elder Abuse, thousands of elders are abused in nursing homes each year, through physical abuse, neglect, emotional abuse, and even sexual abuse. As the elder population increases and the nursing staff decreases, nursing home abuse will only continue to rise.
Statistics show that as of 2009, over 3.2 million people lived in nursing homes and an additional one million lived in assisted living facilities. A study of nursing homes found that of over 2,000 patients studied, 44 percent of residents said they had been abused directly and 95 percent said they had been neglected or seen neglect or abuse toward other residents. 50 percent of nursing home staff admitted to abusing residents, including hitting or shoving, yelling, neglecting, or insulting. Although no nursing home staff admitted directly to sexual abuse, a 2010 study found that 7 percent of all abuse reports in nursing homes were sexual in nature. Some cases of sexual abuse were caused by other patients rather than nursing home staff. [http://www.theglobaldispatch.com/nursing-home-abuse-needs-to-be-a-priority-for-the-federal-government-19703/, December 2015]
As nursing home resident numbers climb, it becomes extremely important to ensure the safety of nursing home residents and staff. In some states, families of nursing home residents are allowed to install cameras to monitor their loved one for signs of abuse. Other states have implemented care laws that reduce the chance of neglect, requiring a certified nurse or other medical professional to visit each resident within a 24-hour period. [http://www.ncea.aoa.gov/resources/publication/docs/ncea_ltcf_researchbrief_2013.pdf, December 2015]
In Ohio, nursing home residents are entitled to certain rights that ensure their safety and wellbeing at all times. However, Ohio consistently scores as one of the worst places for seniors in the United States when compared with other states in the U.S. Ohio received a “D” grade for its nursing homes during the past few years for lack of qualified staff, resident neglect, and general understaffing. General legal provisions for elders in Ohio nursing homes ensure safety, legal protection, privacy, and freedoms compatible with the resident’s current health status. [http://codes.ohio.gov/orc/3721.13, December 2015]
Signs Of Nursing Home Abuse
Family members can do their part to prevent elder abuse in nursing homes by watching for the following signs of elder abuse:
- Unexplained sores, bruises, or wounds on the nursing home resident.
- Signs of fear or anger from the resident toward nursing home staff or a particular caregiver.
- Mentions of abuse.
- Unwillingness for nursing home staff to speak directly about the patient’s care.
- Reluctance to allow family members in the room when medication is offered.
- Reluctance to allow video footage in the nursing home resident’s room.
- Reports that nursing home staff is siphoning funds for personal gain.
- Unprofessional behavior by the staff.
- A tendency to over-medicate residents to keep them docile.
If you notice any of these signs, you may have a case for elder abuse for which your loved one may be entitled to compensation. Consult with the nursing home abuse experts at Wright & Schulte to determine the best way to move forward with your case and how to prevent further abuse from occurring. If you suspect violent or sexual abuse, contact the police and remove your family member from the facility as soon as possible.