Nursing Home Elder Abuse – A Growing Concern
Believe it or not, the elderly is amongst the most invisible and vulnerable victims of abuse. Verbal, sexual, and physical abuse are all types of abuse that some seniors are experiencing while in the care of nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and while in the care of home health professionals. Nursing Home elder abuse is usually the result of poorly trained and staffed facilities.
Although these things happen, the elderly and vulnerable tend to not admit to the nursing home elder abuse. This is mainly due to fear of losing their caregiver, being forced to leave the facility or simply being embarrassed. These are individuals that come from a generation that does not recognize domestic abuse when it happens to them. They think it is something that only happens to the young.
Why Does Nursing Home Elder Abuse Happen?
The isolation that is involved can also make the different types of abuse hard to detect. Maybe the victim of nursing home elder abuse is not able to comprehend what is happening to them or communicate what is occurring.
Fortunately, more focus is being placed on elder abuse issues, including efforts within communities to raise awareness and advocate for victims. What is unfortunate is that the actions being taken against elder abuse are where domestic abuse was two decades ago.
The action being taken involves federal grants that provide outreach and training sessions that train employees in certain sectors to recognize signs of possible elder abuse. For instance, bank employees are being trained to recognize financial exploitation by caregivers. Law enforcement is also learning ways they can interview seniors and get answers.
Increased and more aggressive prosecution is also a tactic being used against Nursing Home Elder Abuse
The Minnesota Department of Human Services says that, as of August 7, 2012, there were 148 allegations of elder abuse or neglect against seniors age 65 and older in Clay County alone. That number included caregiver neglect, financial exploitation, sexual abuse, physical abuse, and emotional/mental abuse.
While it is less likely that elder abuse will occur in a nursing home or other facility, it can happen more often in the home setting. The abuse may be the result of caregivers snapping out of stress. Then there are those that become greedy and commit financial abuse. If a son or daughter is taking care of an elderly parent, they may retaliate if their parent abused them as a child. None of these reasons validate the abuse, however. It has been found that verbal abuse can be the most devastating, especially if the elder is afraid or confused.
In the end, it does pay for the senior to be in an assisted living facility of some kind that can meet their needs. Because abuse happens in nursing homes and by other paid individuals, it should not be a deterrent to place a loved one in such a facility. It is best to be vigilant by learning about the nursing home’s record, ensuring they have a large enough status to accommodate the population, and to ensure they are equipped to meet the specific needs of your loved one.
Report Suspected Nursing Home Elder Abuse
For more information from the Minnesota Department of Health, Office of Health Facility Complaints concerning nursing homes, assisted living and other elder care providers view resolved complaints at the MDH website.
If you have concerns about financial exploitation or any other form of elder abuse or neglect contact Minnesota Elder Abuse Attorney Kenneth LaBore toll free at 612-743-9048 or toll free at 1-888-452-6589 or by email at KLaBore@MNnursinghomeneglect.com.