Identifying Risk Factors For Nursing Home Abuse
With the aging of America’s baby boomer population, elder care has become an increasingly important issue. Many people today deal with the question of how to best provide the care that aging parents, grandparents, and loved ones need, and nursing home care often turns out to be the best available option. Unfortunately, as increasing numbers of people over the age of 65 enter nursing homes and long term care facilities, the numbers of people suffering injuries and abuse in these types of setting has risen to alarming rates. By knowing the risk factors for abuse, you can make the right choices in terms of getting your loved ones the care they need, while helping to prevent them from suffering harm.
Types of Nursing Home Abuse
According to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) there are approximately 15,700 nursing homes in the United States, housing over 1.4 million people. The demands of caring for our aging population fall onto nursing home workers, and while many of the doctors, nurses, and aides that work in these facilities provide high-quality care for our loved ones, unfortunately the rates of elder abuse have risen alarmingly. The CDC states that more than one in 10 people over the age of 60 are victims of abuse, and indications are that there are as many as twice that number that go unreported. Types of nursing home and elder abuse include:
- Physical abuse and neglect;
- Emotional and psychological abuse and neglect;
- Financial exploitation; and
- Sexual abuse.
Risk Factors for Abuse
The National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA) works to raise awareness and help to prevent abuse, abandonment, and neglect among those aged 60 and over. The NCEA advises that one of the best ways to prevent abuse is by being aware of the risk factors that indicate the potential for abuse to happen. There are three broad categories in terms of risk factors for nursing home abuse:
- Facility risk factors, such as poor staffing and general indifference on the part of the facility;
- Resident risk factors, which include patients with high degrees of need, such as those with dementia and other debilitating diseases or condition; and
- Relationship risk factors, which is the quality of the relationship that exists between the resident and their family and caregivers.
Residents who do not receive regular visits from family members are at the greatest risk, though at the same time it can work against a resident if the family goes overboard. Family members and loved ones who are difficult, make excessive demands on nursing staff or those who are constantly present and doing things for the resident may inhibit a healthy relationship from forming between their loved ones and care providers.
Contact Our Experienced Elder Law Attorneys
At Cavallo & Cavallo, our experienced New York elder law attorneys know how important the care of your aging loved ones and family members is to you. We can assist you in matters relating to nursing home care and estate management, and support you in providing for your loved one’s best interests. With offices in the Bronx and Westchester, we are your neighborhood law firm, providing efficient, effective legal representation to handle all your legal needs. Contact us today for a free consultation.