One in Three Nursing Homes Investigated for Elder Abuse

In a shocking study done by the US Senate, one in three nursing homes has been investigated for abuse claims. What a dismal commentary on society today.

Abuse doesn’t just refer to sexual abuse, although that may also be the case in a nursing home; it refers to financial, verbal, physical, mental, emotional and psychological abuse cruelty. “Even though the Senate study concluded in 2001, the results are as valid today – perhaps even more so – as they were then,” said Deborah Barron, a Sacramento personal injury lawyer of the Barron Law Office in California. In fact, if you read the news or listen to radio or TV, elder abuse is on a dramatic upswing due to the recession.

One of the things the Senate study clearly indicated in their report was that the figures they found to be true for elder abuse in the US would likely increase. Not that this study was intended to be a prognosis for the future, but instead a good social barometer of the human race and where it is going. “Sadly, that report’s extrapolations have come to pass. Only now there is some light at the end of the tunnel in the form of the Elder Justice Act and its companion act, the Patient Safety and Abuse Prevention Act, aimed at those in long-term care,” Barron added.

There seems to be no end of creative ways to take advantage of seniors in the 21st century and one wonders why some people spend their time thinking up ways to torture the elderly and make their life miserable. Nursing home abuse is about many things from chemical restraints to pushing and shoving, and from pinching and twisting an arm or leg to allowing a resident to sleep on the floor to heal broken ribs. It just defies logic that a human being would do that to an elderly citizen; someone in no position to fight back.

It isn’t always easy to spot abuse in a nursing home, largely because the resident may be too frightened to say anything for fear of retaliation. And something else to remember as well; the abuse may be carried out by the staff of the home and/or another resident. There seems to be no end to the despicable things perpetrated on the elderly.

Be on the lookout for signs that an elderly relative is unusually agitated, particularly around a staff member, or if the staff are unwilling to let you spend time alone with the individual. If there is any suspicion the patient shows signs of physical neglect or abuse, immediately contact a skilled personal injury lawyer,” added Deborah Barron, a Sacramento personal injury lawyer of the Barron Law Office in California.

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