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Elder Abuse and Neglect: A Nationwide Problem

By: Anapol Weiss

A nursing home should always be a place for seniors to feel safe and protected. Unfortunately, many nursing homes have been found to mistreat some of their residents. In addition to these appalling and inexcusable actions, family and friends may never find out their loved one is being hurt.

Elder abuse involves acts by a caregiver that cause harm or put an elderly person’s well-being in jeopardy. Failure to satisfy an elder’s basic needs or to protect him or her from harm is also considered abuse. Abuse is not always physical – it may also come in the form of neglect, emotional mistreatment, false imprisonment, financial theft, and more.

Too many cases of elder abuse go unreported every year. The National Center on Elder Abuse has indicated that, despite the availability of Adult Protective Services in every state and mandatory reporting laws in most states, an overwhelming amount of elder abuse continues to go undetected and untreated.

Why are so many abuse cases going unnoticed? First, lack of training on abuse detection may cause nursing home staff members to miss certain telltale signs. Elderly residents may be reluctant to report mistreatment due to a fear of retaliation, a lack of physical or cognitive ability to report, or unwillingness to get the abuser in trouble.

It’s important for loved ones to look for any signs that an elderly person’s treatment has changed. Contact our firm for assistance if you suspect a friend or family member is being abused in a nursing home. We can investigate the situation and answer your questions.