In 2012, over 1.3 million Americans resided in a nursing or adult care facility. Additionally, in 2013, that number had climbed to over 3.3. million. With the Baby Boomer generation aging and increasingly requiring outside care, the number of individuals in nursing homes is continues to grow exponentially. In fact, estimates predict that by the end of this year, one in seven people over the age of 65 will enter a nursing home facility.
Nursing Home Abuse to Rise:
Unfortunately, with this increase in the number of nursing home residents, rates of nursing home abuse are likely to climb as well. Our Tulsa nursing home attorneys point out studies showing reports of abuse, ranging from financial to physical or verbal, occur in one out of three nursing homes. Further in Oklahoma, where 317 nursing homes exist, many are receiving a failing grade. Oklahoma ranked 48 out of 51 states in providing safe and quality nursing home care. The Tulsa nursing home attorneys advance statistics on nursing home abuse as widely inaccurate with thousands of cases going unreported in Oklahoma alone each year.
Indications of Nursing Home Neglect:
Given the inability of some nursing home residents to communicate their abuse, it is important that family members of nursing home residents be vigilant in looking for signs of abuse. The following is a list of the most common forms of nursing home abuse. It is our hope that armed with the knowledge of the forms of abuse to look for, you can protect your loved one and other nursing home residents from abuse.
- Physical Abuse: Approximately 25% of all nursing home abuse consists of physical abuse. This abuse is the infliction of injury upon the nursing home resident or threat of physical harm. Physical abuse can also include the withholding of food, exercise, fluids, or medication.
- Emotional or Psychological Abuse: This form of elder abuse is quite common, accounting for 36% of all cases. Emotional or psychological abuse involves the infliction of pain, distress, or misery by verbal or non-verbal means. This form of abuse can be difficult to detect because it does not leave a physical scar.
- Sexual Abuse: Incidences of sexual abuse in nursing homes have been well documented. Often, the nursing home staff participates in this atrocious act.
- Abuse Through Neglect: This is the most common form of nursing home abuse, comprising nearly half of all cases. Neglect of an elder’s needs includes the failure to provide adequate nutrition, shelter, hygiene, including oral care, and security.
- Financial Exploitation: Financial fraud is another common type of nursing home abuse. Nursing home residents are entirely reliant upon their caregivers, which makes them vulnerable to fraud. As a result, financial exploitation can occur in a number of ways. Some of the most common financial exploits include theft of resident’s bank cards, identity theft, and overreaching in the form of requesting gifts or funds. Healthcare fraud is another issue, wherein caregivers charge for medical services that do not happen. This type of fraud is not only criminal, it is dangerous to residents. Consequently, it may result in them not receiving the medical care they need.
Tulsa Nursing Home Attorneys Can Help:
Any suspected nursing home abuse should be immediately addressed. All nursing home residents have the right to be free from abuse and neglect, and to receive proper medical care. There are legal options available when your loved one incurs abuse or neglect in a nursing home. If you suspect that a loved one has been abused in a nursing home call our Tulsa attorneys.
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