Unfortunately, disasters impact seniors the most. This also includes senior abuse during a pandemic. The abuse is not just physical but financial as well. Thus far, the elderly have the highest mortality rates during the current pandemic.
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. In fact, 1 in 6 doesn’t report. 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.
Senior Abuse & the Pandemic
There are five types of senior abuse. The main types of abuse are sexual, physical, psychological, financial, and neglect. During the pandemic, many seniors are cut off from their families. This makes it easier for staff to abuse their patients. In fact, many of these reports go unreported.
The Department of Health and Human Services’ study included a large sampling of cases in 33 states. Currently, there are 1.4 million people living in American nursing homes. Yet, the quality of these facilities is of grave concern. Some auditors found in a two-year span over 130 cases of emergency visits indicating possible sexual or physical abuse, or neglect, of nursing home residents. The incidents spanned a two-year period from 2015-2016. Illinois had the largest number of incidents overall, with 17. It was followed by Michigan (13), Texas (9), and California (8).
However, in nearly 30% of the cases sampled, investigators found zero evidence in hospital records that the incident had been reported to local law enforcement. This is against the law. The federal statute has been on the books for more than five years, but investigators found that Medicare has not enforced this requirement. The fine is up to $300,000 for unreported nursing home abuse. In fact, personnel has 24 hours to notify law enforcement of a suspected crime.
Of the many unreported cases, about 4 out of 5 involved sexual abuse.
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.