Is anything being done to reduce nursing home abuse and neglect?

It may be hard to believe, but nursing home abuse or neglect may affect 10 percent of the elderly population. That rate may be even higher for elderly residents who are mentally disabled or require around-the-clock care. For example, half of elderly Americans with dementia might be victims of abuse. Yet less than 0.04 percent of elder abuse cases are typically reported to agencies.

Concerned Americans may wonder if there are elder abuse and neglect prevention strategies. That question will be the focus of a new research effort by an American professor with expertise in elder abuse, long-term care and forensics.  

Is a proactive approach against nursing home neglect or abuse possible? The professor’s thesis is that systemic improvements toward the work environment in nursing homes or assisted care facilities may be the first step in reducing elder neglect. Since many residents of nursing homes or assisted living facilities may require constant supervision, a systemic framework is needed to ensure a consistent level of professional care.

If you believe that a loved one has been neglected or abused in a nursing home, a law firm that focuses on nursing home neglect can launch an investigation. If the neglect was the result of inadequate facility procedures, there may be other victims that could provide vital testimony or help establish a pattern of neglect. Inadequate procedures may also violate applicable state or federal laws, and further strengthen a victim's claim. Finally, by preparing substantial evidence for trial, a plaintiff may also be better situated in any settlement discussions. 

Source: MSU Today, “A Voice for the Voiceless,” Carolyn Ziminski, Nov. 4, 2015

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