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.
Nursing home abuse, along with elder abuse, is a problem in Alabama. In fact, did you know that the Alabama Adult Protective Services investigated 5,125 reports of abuse in 2008. If you think that's bad, consider the statistics from the National Center on Elder Abuse. The administration states that nursing home abuse was found in 44 percent of patient cases when investigating 2,000 nursing home patients in the year 2000.
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.
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.
Alabama residents might be hesitant to enter nursing homes after hearing that the New York Times highlighted the occurrence of elder abuse in America. The Elder Maltreatment Alliance reported that in 2011, three to five million elderly people were victims of some sort of abuse, whether it was physical abuse or exploitation.