Elder Abuse is Widespread - and Growing
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It can be difficult to arrive at an exact figure for incidences of elder abuse in our country. There are many reasons for this, not least the fact that many older Americans who have suffered emotional, physical, or financial abuse are often disabled or intimidated into silence. Under-reporting is a major problem for assessing just how many of our seniors are affected.
However, according to the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA), one study indicated nearly 3 million crimes against the elderly in a five-year period. Another report suggested that 10% of all Americans over 65 had suffered some form of abuse. Shockingly enough, the most common form of elder abuse occurs when family members mistreated or steal from their elders. However, as the nation's population ages faster than ever before, with around 20% of it anticipated to be over 65 by 2050, more and more older citizens will end up in care facilities and nursing homes. We can fully expect that, while the figures for family elder abuse will rise, cases of nursing home abuse and neglect will rise just as quickly.
The first step toward combatting this rampant problem is raising awareness. Knowing that elder abuse is quite common helps one recognizes its early detection signs
Signs and Symptoms of Elder Abuse and Neglect
- Basic needs not being met.
- Lack of medication and medical care.
- Lack of personal hygiene.
- Unusual activity in financial accounts.
- Reticence, detachment, lack of emotion, depression.
What You Should Do to Protect Elderly Loved Ones
The most important thing you can do to protect aging loved ones from abuse and neglect is to spend time with them. If you aren't around your elders, you will not be able to recognize early warning signs. If you do notice signs of abuse or neglect, address them immediately to family members or, if it occurs in a care facility, to supervisory personnel. In many cases, it will make sense to contact a lawyer to discuss your and your loved one's legal rights. Nursing homes must uphold a reasonable standard of care for their residents. When this standard is not met, damaged residents may seek financial compensation.
Pennsylvania & New Jersey Nursing Home Abuse Law Firm
If you or anyone you know has been a victim of nursing home misconduct, abuse, or neglect, please contact our experienced elder abuse attorneys immediately toll-free at 1-855-462-3330 or by using our online contact form.