Numerous studies have been done and articles have been written about how to prevent nursing home abuse, yet still abuse and neglect occur at alarming rates. This has our nursing home attorney asking “how can we address nursing home abuse?”
What can really be done to help preserve the health and wellbeing of vulnerable elderly Americans?
At Nursing Home Abuse Center, we know all too well how frequently elder abuse and neglect occurs. Our goal is to help clients protect their legal rights, understand the nature of abuse and neglect, and be a part of the system that shines light on preventative techniques that work.
Read on to learn more about the problem of nursing home abuse and neglect, and some strategies to address these atrocities that could make a difference. Contact a nursing home attorney directly to learn more about your individual case.
Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect: The Problem
According to the National Elder Mistreatment Study (NEMS), one out of every 10 elder adults will experience some form of abuse or neglect, including:
The victims of these horrible acts suffer in many ways, with many experiencing a significant decline in their physical and emotional health. Nursing home abuse victims also face a higher risk of death, even among peers with similar general health status.
One of the most overlooked aspects of nursing home abuse and neglect is the fact that it impacts almost everyone in society. Without better methods of preventing and addressing abuse, older Americans remain at risk, and all of us will be placed at risk as we get older. In many ways, elder abuse is a constant, just waiting to steal the dignity, stability, and autonomy of many Americans.
How Can We Address Nursing Home Abuse?
Because nursing home abuse and neglect are a wide-reaching problem, there are many initiatives currently looking toward addressing the problem, detecting it, and preventing it. Some examples include:
- In 2018, the Sunflower Foundation awarded a grant of $200,000 to the Center for Practical Bioethics to assist in identifying strategies for detecting and preventing elder abuse in Kansas.
- California’s Archstone Foundation has been working for many years with organizations aimed at preventing elder abuse. Their funding efforts have proven tremendous for many organizations.
- The John A. Hartford Foundation is a national funding group that supports aging programs, including addressing elder abuse. More specifically, in 2016, the Foundation awarded a grant aimed at screening for elder abuse in emergency departments among U.S.
- Law enforcement agencies around the country have continued to implement adult protective services (APS) programs. These programs provide communities with access to investigative and legal options to protect the elderly.
While efforts like these help states be better equipped with research opportunities and outlets for families to address concerns, there is still more fundamental work needed to really put a dent in the problem.
Promising Strategies to Reduce Abuse and Neglect
Our nursing home attorney finds the following strategies promising:
- Social services divisions, including APS, should be proactively looking for signs of abuse in long-term care facilities. These individuals are often a first-line for families who are concerned about abuse. They should be trained to identify risk factors and warning signs, and identify abuse.
- Any professional in the community who works with the elderly should be aware of the elder abuse and neglect problem. They should also know how to address it. Individuals who work with the elderly should be prepared to recognize signs of depression, isolation, or physical or mental impairment. These are often warning signs that abuse or neglect may be occurring.
- Local and state governments can address nursing home abuse and neglect in their communities. Strategies include advocating for more services and programs aimed at the elderly. Also, services like education for older adults on staying safe and speaking up could help prevent abuse. Programs aimed at elderly individuals who are homeless or are in emergency situations could help prevent victims from falling into worse situations.
- Emergency shelters for the elderly could provide a safe alternative for victims of abuse while their case is under investigation. They are also helpful if individuals find themselves displaced.
- States could spend more dollars on prevalence studies to determine areas that are higher risk. Also, states should identify facilities that have higher rates of abuse or neglect.
While these strategies are promising, there is still room to improve.
Contact Our Nursing Home Attorney to Protect Your Rights
If you want to speak with a nursing home attorney about your legal rights, or that of a loved one, contact Nursing Home Abuse Center for a free consultation. Our attorneys have skill and experience in many areas of nursing home abuse and neglect. Furthermore, we understand the relationship between the long-term care and healthcare industries, which provides you with an abundance of resources.
To learn more about how we can help you protect your legal rights, fill out our online form, or call us toll free at 1-866-548-9636.