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How prevalent is nursing home abuse and neglect?


One of the most difficult and traumatic decisions a family in Fulton County has to make is choosing to place a loved one in a nursing facility. A vast amount of guilt and fear accompanies the admission that a loved one is no longer able to care for himself or herself and the family simply doesn't have the means to provide the necessary support. These feelings are compounded if it is revealed that the loved one was the victim of abuse while at the facility.

It's a dark secret that the number of elderly residents at a nursing home who are mistreated is so high. Studies have indicated that the numbers are staggering. Research from just a few years ago indicates that abuse may frequently takes place without anyone ever knowing about it. Sometimes the abuser is caught and made to face justice. Often, the crimes go unreported.

At the time of the study, almost 33 percent of nursing homes were cited for having violations that could put the health and well-being of their residents in jeopardy. Almost 10 percent had violations that did put the residents in danger and caused them injury. In interviews of residents, 44 percent stated that they had been subject to nursing home abuse. Ninety-five percent stated that they had been victims of nursing home negligence or had seen other patients victimized by it. More than half of the nursing home staff that had been spoken to admitted to partaking in various kinds of abuse.

As for the kinds of abuse that occurs, it varied from simple neglect to physical and sexual abuse. In any event, thought, families who choose to admit a relative to a care facility are in no way expecting the care to be substandard. They're certainly not willingly placing a loved one into a situation where they will be in danger of abuse. If there is a suspicion of any of the above discussed occurrences happening, there is legal recourse that can be taken.


Source: Center On Elder Abuse, "Abuse of residents of long term care facilities," accessed on Aug. 19, 2014

Source: Center On Elder Abuse, "Abuse of residents of long term care facilities," accessed on Aug. 19, 2014

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