One in five U.S. residents will be retirement age by 2030, meaning more aging adults will eventually need assistance and could potentially become vulnerable to caretakers. Many states recognize that elder abuse is a growing issue, especially in nursing homes. Since the elderly population is growing, many facilities are desperate for workers. This has shown an increase in lax background checks, which allows repeat nursing home abusers to continually be employed.
About Nursing Home Abuse
Each year in the United States, an estimated 2.1 million seniors are the victims of some form of abuse. Many elderly do not report the abuse or neglect. Unfortunately, abused elders die earlier than their well cared for counterparts. According to the Assisted Living Federation of America (ALFA), the maltreatment and abuse of the elderly is a significant problem among the elderly population in America. It is more common in women over age 80. Also, those who are abused are at a 300 percent increase of dying within three years. Unfortunately, only 1 out of every 6 elderly persons report the event.
Repeat Nursing Home Abusers
Research has found that nursing home abusers repeatedly abuse elderly residents occurs in nearly one-third of all cases. In fact, many situations involved abusers victimizing either multiple victims or one victim on multiple occasions. Usually, these repeat offenders commit hands-on and harmful genital offenses.
Nursing homes continually hire these nursing home abusers since most states do not have strict hiring standards. Only a few states require background checks. This allows offenders to travel from facility to facility undetected. Also, if there is a complaint, investigators seldom check to see if the abuser claimed more than one victim. A majority of the time, the home tries to cover up the abuse.
Nursing homes do not report over 25% of nursing home abusers even though state and federal law require that serious cases of abuse in nursing homes be turned over to the police. Most facilities will clean up the victims and destroy evidence to ensure no investigation could take place. If a family does inform the police, many places go as far as to tell the police department that an investigation is unneeded.
This is why it is important to seek your own independent counsel to get justice for a loved one.
If you suspect abuse or neglect, do not accept denials. Instead, contact a knowledgeable lawyer experienced with representing victims. When an abuser injures a resident at a care facility, it is not always obvious what happened and legal liability. The evidence available is often incomplete and may be self-serving for the defendant – the nursing home. This is why a free consultation with us is so important. We have been assisting the injured for 20 years. We help clients from all over the country. Our consultations are completely free. Call today.