CHICAGO, IL – Nursing home abuse is just one part of the larger problem with elder abuse – especially in nursing homes. As many as 5,000,000 people are affected by elder abuse each year, according to the National Council on Aging (NCOA).
How Common is Nursing Home Abuse?
Nursing home abuse effects thousands of families each year. In 2014 alone, more than 14,000 complaints were filed with nursing home ombudsmen about abuse or neglect.
The National Center for Victims of Crime (NCVC) compiled a breakdown of nursing home abuse complaints:
- 27% – Physical abuse
- 22% – Resident-on-resident abuse (physical or sexual)
- 19% – Psychological abuse
- 15% – Gross neglect
- 8% – Sexual abuse
- 8% – Financial exploitation
Who is At Risk?
Any elderly person in a long-term care facility may suffer from nursing home abuse; however, there are certain risk factors that lead individuals to be more at-risk to be exposed to abuse.
Women are more likely to be abused then men. NCVC found that 66% of elder abuse victims were women. Individuals who have been abused or experienced a traumatic event in the past are more likely to be victims of abuse again in the future. Additionally, poor mental and physical health may increase the risk of abuse. Individuals who suffer from Alzheimer’s or dementia are particularly vulnerable to abuse. Nearly 50% of elders with dementia experience abuse or neglect while living in a nursing home.
Common Abuse Tactics
There are various ways staff members at nursing home facilities work to hide incidents of nursing home abuse. In some cases, an individual may be attempting to cover up abuse; however, in other situations, management or facility owner may be part of the cover-up.
Common tactics used to hide nursing home abuse include:
- Threatening the resident with additional harm if they report what happened
- Refusing to allow family members to visit with a resident alone
- Confusing the resident to make them believe they imagined the abuse
- Providing family members or loved ones with other explanations for injuries
- Keeping no record of medical care for abuse-related injuries
- Altering logbooks or other records to hide abuse or neglect
Any staff members that abuses a nursing home resident should be terminated immediately. Unfortunately, many nursing homes across the United States are understaffed – especially Illinois nursing homes. Facilities tend to not immediately fire the abusive employee.
Contact a Chicago Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
The Dinizulu Law Group is always looking out to protect the interests and rights of nursing home residents. Contact our skilled team of nursing home abuse attorneys today so we can help assess your loved ones situation. To receive a free consultation, contact us now at (312) 384-1920.