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Nursing Home Abuse Often Goes Unreported – Be Aware of the Signs

Posted on in Personal Injury

San Jose elder abuse attorneys, nursing home abuse, elder abuse, nursing home neglect, abuse victimFor many of us, taking care of older loved ones and family members is a part of life. Unfortunately, busy schedules often prevent us from providing the amount of attention they need, while their medical condition may make being in a nursing home or long term care facility more practical. In these situations, it is important to be alert to any signs that elder abuse or neglect is occurring. A new report indicates that incidents of abuse occur more commonly than most people think and often end up going unreported by the victims and the nursing home administrators involved.

Elder Abuse and Nursing Home Neglect

According to a 2017 investigative report by National Public Radio (NPR), elder abuse and nursing home neglect may be far more rampant than statistics would have us believe. The report states that as many as one quarter of all cases in which those over the age of 65 are abused or neglected by their caregivers are not reported to police, even though it is required under both state and federal laws. These cases are not minor incidents, but rather involve serious allegations in which victims suffered potentially life-threatening injuries.

In California alone, the Office of the Attorney General reports that more than 500,000 older adults throughout the state receive care through both licensed and unlicensed nursing homes and other long term care facilities. Of the complaints received by the AG’s office, nearly 15 percent involve nursing home abuse and negligent. Based on the theory that roughly 25 percent of all cases go unreported, this situation could potentially be impacting more than 125,000 residents each year.

Signs of Elder Abuse

Help Guide advises that elder abuse can take many forms. It may involve physical violence, threats, or sexual assault, all of which can leave the victim depressed, withdrawn, and fearful of speaking out. In some situations, it may involve financial fraud or theft, which victims are often ashamed to admit or unaware that it has occurred. In still other cases, abuse is in the form of neglect, where nursing home residents fail to get the proper medical care, feeding, and attention they need and deserve.

Anytime you have an older loved one being provided with care from others you need to be vigilant. This is even more so the case in situations where the person suffers dementia or other conditions which impairs his or her ability to communicate. Signs to look for that may indicate abuse is occurring include:

  • The presence of unexplained injuries or medical conditions;
  • Signs that your loved one is fearful, intimidated, or angry at a specific caregiver;
  • Having an unkempt appearance during visits and unexplained weight loss; and
  • Being withdrawn and not wanting to engage in activities they previously enjoyed.

Let Us Help You Today

At Jachimowicz Law Group, we take allegations of elder abuse seriously. We can help put a stop to it while holding guilty parties accountable. If you suspect a loved one is being abused, contact our skilled San Jose elder abuse attorneys immediately.

Sources:

https://www.npr.org/2017/08/28/546460187/serious-nursing-home-abuse-often-not-reported-to-police-federal-investigators-fi

https://www.helpguide.org/articles/abuse/elder-abuse-and-neglect.htm#signs

https://oag.ca.gov/bmfea/elder

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