Growing Elderly Population
Today more than ever in our history people are living longer. Life expectancy is at an all-time high, which clearly has both positive and, at times, negative effects. The National Center on Elder Abuse reported that by 2050 people age 65 and older are expected to comprise 20% of the total U.S. population and the fastest growing segment of American’s population consists of those 85 and up. As more people continue to live into their 80’s and 90’s the increase in elderly care in terms of nursing homes and assisted living facilities is also at an all-time high.
As a result instances of elder abuse and negligent treatment are also at an all-time high. Although state and federal regulations, such as the Illinois Nursing Home Care Act, have been established to protect elderly from abuse, gross violations occur at an increasing rate every day. Many nursing homes or facilities are overcrowded and staffed with underpaid and poorly trained professionals. This problem is magnified by the inability of many elderly patients to understand the treatment decisions or actions that are being taken by the staff. In the instances of dementia, an elderly patient may be unable to relay instances of neglect or even abuse to their loved ones. In fact, research indicates that people with dementia are at great risk of elder abuse than those without.
Abuse in Nursing Homes and Other Long Term Care Facilities
The elderly do not always have the ability to fight for their rights or defend themselves, and we as family members are often at the mercy of the facilities and professionals who are charged with looking after our loved ones. Here are just some of the warning signs that should alert you to possible neglect:
- Has your loved one been given the wrong medication?
- Do they have bed sores or pressure sores?
- Have they sustained injuries as the result of a fall?
- Are they suffering from dehydration?
- Are they having increased instances of choking?
- Do they have significant weight loss or signs of malnutrition?
- Are adequate measures being used to prevent falls?
- Have there been unusual changes in their behavior?
- Have there been changes in their personal hygiene or appearance efforts?
- Do they have unexplained bruises or other injuries?
While some forms of nursing home neglect are obvious, many cases of nursing home neglect go unnoticed and unreported. It is important to know that elder abuse occurs in community settings, such as private homes, as well as institutional settings like nursing homes and other types of long care facilities. Our attorneys have experience recognizing the warning signs of abuse and neglect and can help you get the proper care as well as compensation for your injuries.
If you believe that a loved one is or was a victim of nursing home neglect or negligent care call the attorneys at Stein & Shulman, LLC for a free consultation at (312) 422-0509 or by filling out a contact form online. Our experienced lawyers are here to help you and answer any questions you may have regarding nursing home abuse or neglect at no charge.