Approximately five million older adults are “abused, neglected, or exploited” each year, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and the problem is expected to get worse. The United Nations (UN) expects these numbers to rise in coming years as the number of older people grows. Yet the UN reports that elder abuse is one of the least investigated types of violence.
Awareness May Help Prevent Elder Abuse in Nursing Homes
Many older Americans reside in nursing homes. We expect these facilities to care for our loved ones and to protect them from all forms of nursing home abuse and neglect. However, this doesn’t always happen, and serious—sometimes life-threatening—injuries can occur.
Nursing home administrators and staff members have a duty to care for each nursing home resident. It is their legal responsibility to prevent abuse and neglect from occurring. Unfortunately, nursing home residents and their loved ones should not rely on every nursing home administrator and staffer preventing abuse and neglect. Instead, they should protect themselves, their fellow residents, and their loved ones by recognizing the signs of nursing home abuse and neglect, which may include:
- Changes in mood or behavior.
- Rapid weight loss.
- Fear of speaking in front of nursing home staff.
And they should take immediate action by contacting the state or a nursing home abuse lawyer if any abuse or neglect is suspected.
Be Part of the Solution: Help Raise Awareness About Elder Abuse Today
Elder abuse is not only a public health concern and a human rights issue, but also a deeply personal problem that can devastate older individuals who should be cared for in our society. On this World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, we encourage you to help raise awareness of the problem in an effort to stop it. Please share this article on Facebook or Twitter, please learn about the signs of nursing home abuse and neglect, and please take extra time to make sure that your own loved ones are safe.