Posted by: Kisling, Nestico & Redick, LLC
It seems nursing home abuse is all over the news lately. Maybe the heightened awareness sprouted from the shocking story of the long-term care facility patient who was in a vegetative state, yet was raped by a staff member, became pregnant, and gave birth.
No matter the reason for the awareness, horrifying stories like this may have you wondering: just how common is nursing home abuse? Should you worry about your loved ones who are living in long-term care facilities? And what should you do if abuse does occur?
Nursing Home Abuse Statistics
To get some perspective regarding nursing home abuse, let’s outline the key facts and statistics:
- There are approximately 15,600 nursing homes in the United States with about 1.6 million residents (2016).
- By the year 2035, there will be 78 million people over age 65. This is larger than any other age group. 1 in every 5 Americans will be of retirement age.
- Nursing home abuse is often underreported. The New York State Elder Abuse Prevalence Study found that for every case known to programs and agencies, 24 cases of abuse were unknown.
- Studies show reports of elder abuse are on the rise, but a large number of cases still go unreported.
- The most common forms of elder abuse are physical abuse, psychological or verbal abuse, sexual abuse, neglect, and financial exploitation.
- Within the year 2014, 14,258 (7.6%) of approximately 188,599 complaints reported to Ombudsman programs involved abuse, gross neglect, or exploitation.
- New legislation has been introduced in the house over the past few months to better protect seniors from elder abuse and give harsher punishments to abusers.
What You Can Do
Based on reports, elder abuse in home settings is technically more common than nursing home abuse in the United States. Seniors are more likely to suffer abuse or neglect from family and friends than they are in a long-term care or nursing home setting.
However, as a society there is much we can do to improve nursing home abuse statistics like those noted above. First, we can be diligent in our home lives to keep a lookout for abuse or neglect among our loved ones. Second, we can encourage our elderly loved ones to speak up if they suffer any form of abuse or exploitation. Lastly, we can encourage our legislators to pass new laws to better protect our growing elderly population.
If you believe your elderly loved one is suffering at the hands of a negligent or abusive caregiver in a nursing home or other type of care facility, contact our Ohio nursing home abuse lawyers at Kisling, Nestico & Redick right away. We are here to help you get your loved one the medical and daily care they need to thrive, and to hold negligent or abusive caregivers responsible.