There are more than 15,000 nursing homes in America. The California Association of Health Facilities provides that there are 1250 nursing facilities in California alone. Out of the 39 million people that live in California, 400,000 are cared for in these facilities. Nursing homes are supposed to be safe places to care for our loved ones. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. There are many cases of nursing home negligence and abuse. These cases leave residents and their family members frustrated and aggravated. That is why it is important to stay in touch with your elderly member, keep a close eye on their lives at the facility, communicate thoroughly, and visit often.
The statistics of Nursing Home Negligence and Abuse
The statistics show that 1 in every 10 elders are abused in a nursing home. Studies reported that more than 20% of nursing home residents claim physical abuse. Very few cases get formally reported. That is 1 in 14. For that reason, some of these numbers are low. That is because few elders are either unable or unwilling to report their abuse. The majority of abuse victims report physical abuse at 27.4%. Following physical abuse, 22% report physical or sexual abuse by fellow residents. Almost 20% of cases report psychological abuse. More than 15% report gross neglect in nursing homes. And less than 10% report sexual abuse and financial exploitation. It is important to remember that the low number do not necessarily represent the reality. A lot more people face abuse, but very few report their abuse.
Signs of abuse and negligence in nursing homes
The following sings are very important to keep a close eye to. Often time they allude to red flags about the nursing facility where your elder is living. If you notice any of these signs, make sure to dig deeper and report any case of neglect or abuse.
Because people living in a nursing home are old, their bedding require a lot more attention. Do not be deceived by how padded or comfortable a bed may be. Elderly beds require frequent changing and to be regularly attended to. If your elder is laying in bed in the same position for prolonged hours, this is neglect. This type of neglect leads to the occurrence of painful bruises and welts on your elder's body. These bruises and welts are called bedsores. Bedsores are easily prevented. Therefore, if you notice any, it is definitely a sign of mistreatment and negligence.
Do not mistake normal decline in apatite for old people with malnutrition. If your elder is experiencing a noticeable decline in apatite, the nursing home staff should alert you. Elders must be eating enough to remain healthy. They must also have proper hydration. That is why if you hear your elder complaining of thirst or hunger or both, you should be seriously concerned. That could be a sign for nursing home negligence.
The reason we admit our elderly loved ones to nursing homes so that they can be attended for day and night. For that reason, there should not be injuries or bruises taking place. And if they do, these should be very rare and minimum. If there is a bruise, a cur or any injury, staff must explain that to you. However, if there are wounds, bruises and other unexplained injuries and staff refused to report that to you and how they occurred, it is a sign of negligence.
Depression or other emotional distress
Older people are grumpy and sometimes very moody. However, that is not the same as experiencing serious depression or fear. Unusual depression or constant fear are signs that your elder is experiencing negligence or serious physical or sexual abuse.
The older we get, the closer we are to our deaths. But older people passing away in nursing homes is not always a reflection of the sad reality of death. Instead, their passing could have been preventable. If your loved one passes away in a nursing home, it is important you understand how that happened. Was it sudden? Was it unexpected? Otherwise, their passing may give you reasons to file a wrongful death claim against the nursing home.
Understand the likelihood of abuse in a nursing home
Both men and women are at risk for abuse in a nursing home. However, women are more likely to be abused. It is reported that 2 out of 3 elderly women get abused in a nursing home. This could be a result of men unwilling to claim victimization. Elders with mental problems are even more vulnerable to abuse. The statistics show that 50% of elders with mental impairments are neglected or abused.
If you noticed any of these signs on your elderly loved one, you must take action. Your best bet is to come to Napolin Law Firm to understand your legal rights. Call Napolin Law today for a free consultation that is likely to save your loved one from as dangerous nursing home.