An estimated 10 percent of adults over 60 suffer some form of elder abuse. Unfortunately, fewer than 10 percent of these cases are reported to the authorities. In some cases, you may need the services of an Ocala elder abuse attorney.
The majority of elders who are abused face harm from a family member. More and more, however, nursing homes are the sites of mistreatment; ABC news reports that roughly one-third of nursing homes in the U.S. have experienced abuse cases. Common types of elder abuse in nursing homes include dehydration, malnutrition, bedsores that went untreated, poor hygiene, poor sanitation, and lack of sufficient medical care.
There are 2.5 million older adults in nursing home facilities, rehab facilities, and long-term care facilities. Data released by the National Center for Biotechnology Information shows that older adults face increased risk of elder abuse when they are in one of these settings. The more a nursing home resident depends on staff for their care, the higher their risk of abuse.
What’s being done?
Until recently, there had been little research concerning nursing home abuse. This has started to change, as specific cases gained media attention. This has a beneficial effect for seniors; those who come forward are more likely to be believed, and the claim is more likely to be prosecuted.
Nursing home facilities, more aware of the serious implications of elder abuse, are taking steps to train staff properly, hire qualified people, and remain vigilant against the threat of elder abuse.
Likewise, state and federal governments are taking action. Florida elder abuse is a third-degree felony, and aggravated abuse or neglect of an elder has been made a first-degree felony. Caregivers who failed to prevent abusive action can also face felony charges under state law. And the nursing homes themselves also face penalties. Florida nursing homes suspected of allowing elder abuse will be scrutinized by the state, and face sanctions or fines if abuse is confirmed.
An Ocala elder abuse attorney can put an end to abusive situations
If you see signs of nursing home abuse, trust your instincts and report the incident.
If you suspect that a loved one in your family is being abused in a nursing home facility, it’s important to speak with an Ocala elder abuse attorney. An experienced lawyer knows how to litigate elder abuse cases and can walk you through your options. Then, you can take the facility to court and seek legal redress, while also working to find a safe place for the abuse victim.