A woman who runs the National Center on Elder Abuse says, “…everybody can be a victim, everybody can be an abuser.” It’s a scary thought. Most of us have so much love and compassion for our elderly loved ones and the elderly in general. But not all people are as good as we’d like them to be, and our loved ones can fall victim to elder abuse.
USA Today reports that the elderly population in the U.S. has grown at a record rate. People are living longer lives. How old are your parents or grandparents? It wouldn’t be surprising these days for many people to say that their loved one is 90 or older. This means that either the elderly are living with family or there are more of them living in facilities.
Research also shows that more people over the age of 85 are suffering from Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia than in the past. This suggests that even more elderly need medical care from a facility, which can mean danger in some unfortunate situations.
Nursing home negligence and abuse is a reality for some patients and their families. To put a loved one in the hands of strangers is already an emotional, scary decision. And when that decision proves to have led to the mistreatment and abuse of our elders, legal action should be taken in order to prevent a facility and its employees from harming others in the future.
A source estimates that about one in 10 seniors becomes a victim of elder abuse. This abuse can happen at the hands of family members, friends or workers and a retirement or medical facility. If you suspect that neglect or abuse is going on, don’t hesitate to ask questions and look into the situation. When it comes to a senior’s health or life, it is better to be safe than sorry. Action taken to help one senior could help others, too.
USA Today: “As USA grays, elder abuse risk and need for shelters grow,” Haya El Nasser, Jan. 10, 2012