Healy Scanlon Law Firm

Some incidents of nursing home abuse are underreported


Many nursing homes in the U.S., including those in Chicago, Illinois, ensure that our elderly loved ones are well-taken care of. However, data released by the National Center on Elder Abuse Administration suggests the opposite may be true.

More than 40.3 million Americans are over the age of 65, which amounts to almost 13 percent of the United States population. This age group will probably continue to rise through the year 2050. As more and more people enter their old age, nursing home deaths, elder abuse and neglect may soar. In fact, the NCEA discovered that 7.6-10 percent of participants in a study claimed that they experienced abuse. According to Adult Protective Services data, the incidences of elder abuse are increasing. Unfortunately, some of these incidences are underreported or undetected.

NCEA stated that one study showed that for every case of elder abuse, 14 cases are underreported to the authorities. In another study, for every identified case in agencies or programs, 24 cases remain unknown.

Although the organization was unable to determine the actual number of people who experienced or are experiencing elder abuse, they pointed out that the incidents of abuse likely increase as the resident ages. An elder who has Alzheimer's disease or dementia is also more prone to abuse.

Unfortunately, reports stated that nursing home abuse, like an Illinois elder abuse, likely increased health problems and psychological distress and possibly worse, death.

The studies and data may show that nursing home neglect and elder abuse is still a prevalent problem that endangers the life of every nursing home resident. Elder abuse may take various forms, ranging from bed sores to malnutrition to nursing home neglect. Fortunately, older people who experienced abuse or neglect have certain legal rights to hold nursing homes responsible for their actions. Families who have lost a loved one due to nursing home-related death can hold the nursing home facility accountable as well.

Source: Newsinferno, "Data Reveals Nursing Home Abuse Underreported and Expected to Increase," Cynthia A. Diaz-Shephard, Jan. 3, 2014

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