Disabilities Expose Older Adults to Nursing Home Negligence and Abuse
Abuse and neglect of elders by personal assistance service providers, such as employees of nursing homes and long-term care facilities, in-home caregivers, and even friends and family member, is a serious, ongoing problem. Many factors put elderly adults at risk of abuse or neglect, including mental and physical disabilities and disorders.
According to the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA), each year, between 2 million and 5 million elderly Americans suffer from elder abuse, including physical, sexual, emotional and psychological abuse, neglect, abandonment, and financial exploitation. Studies show that having a disability puts adults at particular risk of caregiver negligence:
- 30 percent of disabled adults who use personal assistance services reported mistreatment.
- In a study of 342 men, more than half experienced physical abuse only after becoming disabled.
- In a 2010 study, people with disabilities were victims of violent crimes at triple the rate of people without disabilities.
While all disabilities and disorders may put elderly adults at risk, the NCEA reports that, for people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, the risk may be even greater:
- In one study, 60 percent of caregivers were verbally abusive, between 5 percent and 10 percent were physically abusive, and 14 percent were neglectful toward a patient with dementia.
- In three international studies, overall rates of abuse of people with dementia by caregivers ranged from 34 percent to 62 percent.
- In a U.S. study, almost half of caregivers abused or neglected people with dementia.
The number of people suffering from Alzheimer’s is expected to grow, with about 7.7 million sufferers by the year 2030 and 16 million in 2050. As the number of potential victims increases, the evidence demonstrates that we need to be especially vigilant about protecting adults who rely on others for their care. At Lanier Law Group, P.A., our North Caroling nursing home injury lawyers help elderly victims and their families contact authorities to quickly end abuse or neglect, investigate who is at fault and tirelessly pursue litigation to obtain compensation for the harm.