In Alabama, it is often more important for the family of an elderly person to know what elder abuse is than it is for that person to know on his or her own. By the time they enter a nursing home and are subjected to direct abuse or nursing home neglect, things may have progressed to the point that they need their family members to step in and assist them. When this happens, it is important for those people to know about all of their specific rights and legal options.
Elder abuse is a real problem in Alabama and around the United States. Elder abuse is caused by people who hurt or create the risk of harm to vulnerable elderly adults. When considering the risk of harm, it doesn't matter if the harm was intended or not, it still constitutes elder abuse.
Those who are thinking about having their elderly parents or loved ones enter into nursing homes may be surprised and shocked to hear that Alabama holds a D when it comes to nursing home care. A former nursing home employee who witnessed multiple incidents of nursing home neglect in Alabama, agreed with the rating.
Alabama residents with elder family members in the care of nursing homes may be pleased to find that their state was not on the list of worst states for nursing care, according to a report by the nonprofit Families for Better Care. However, even the states receiving the highest marks have featured cases of nursing home neglect and neglect. With an expected rise of 40 percent in the nationwide total of nursing home residents over the next ten years, advocates say vigilance on the part of state regulators, care providers and families is critical.
A man's 91-year-old mother had lived in an assisted living facility since 2007. Then, one morning, the man and his wife received a phone call notifying them that his mother had 48 hours to find another place to live. Before the call, they had not suspected the facility of any sort of nursing home neglect. However, the reason she had to move so quickly was that the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) had suspended the operating license of the facility where she was living.
As the population in the United States continues to live longer, greater numbers of the aged segment are finding it necessary to seek assistance in the form of long-term skilled care. Unfortunately, not all of these caregivers are truly interested in the well-being of their wards, often resorting to various forms of elder abuse. This problem is growing in Alabama as well, and is not just confined to nursing home neglect.
The National Center on Elder Abuse classifies elder mistreatment in six main ways: physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse, exploitation, neglect and abandonment. According to the Senate Special Committee on Aging, almost 5 million Americans, including elders in Alabama, may be the victims of one or more of these forms of abuse. Victims of elder abuse and malnutrition usually have some form of either physical or mental disability and are usually over 75 years of age.