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Nurses and other healthcare professionals care for more adults over the age of 65 than any other patient population, and the care of the elderly should be one of our nation's top priorities.
Unfortunately, recent studies indicate elderly abuse is on the rise, and there are many reasons for this. One of the main reasons abuse occurs and continues to be underreported is because the elderly, due to their deteriorating health and their mental and physical conditions, may be the least able to communicate physical or emotional abuse. The elderly also may be unable to recognize the signs of abuse or lack the ability to stop and prevent the abuse. Because of this, many elderly are simply left to suffer in silence.
Abuse may also occur because the elderly have certain functional limitations, physical and emotional needs, medical demands, and medication issues which may be difficult for some health care workers to provide. Additionally, many caretakers lack sufficient training, the necessary skills, and adequate knowledge to understand how to deliver adequate care; care which is critical to the health and well-being of their patients.
Although many of us, when we think of abuse, consider physical abuse to be the most detrimental, there are other types of abuse that may be just as pervasive and devastating. In fact, nursing home abuse can take many forms. The most common types include:
Neglect can be just as devastating and pervasive as other types of elderly abuse, and it may be more difficult to detect. Nursing homes are legally required to provide care in which a patient has paid. Federal laws have been established which outline specific standards of care which must be provided by a nursing home. Failure to follow these requirements may be considered negligent. Federal laws require the following:
If someone you love has been injured due to the neglect of another person or a long-term care facility they may be entitled to compensation. Failure to follow federal and state mandates, as outlined above, could be considered negligent if injury or loss results from the neglect.
Talk to a personal injury lawyer, who specializes in elderly abuse lawsuits, if you have any questions about your elderly abuse case. There is a statute of limitations for filing all types of injury claims, including elderly abuse lawsuits. Failing to file a case before the expiration of the statute of limitations may limit your loved one's right to compensation for their injuries.
All of us should be concerned about elderly abuse and the significant and long-lasting effects of abuse. In fact, if we fail to take the proper steps to stop abuse we could continue to see a rise in depression, anxiety, infections, disfigurement, and post traumatic stress due to the abuse. Do your part to eliminate elderly abuse.