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Kentucky News reported this week on a disturbing new report on nursing home neglect that serves as an important reminder of the dangers faced by seniors in these facilities across the country. Each Illinois nursing home abuse attorney at our firm has seen the consequences of this poor care up close, and we remain proud to help families recover following these incidents. We appreciate that a good portion of our work is focused not only on providing relief to the harmed but also to spur changes to prevent future harm. Sadly, it remains an uphill battle, as chronic mistreatment, cut corners, and profit mongering continues to affect many local facilities.
More Substantiated Abuse Claims
The report in this latest story out of Kentucky found more instances of abuse and neglect from investigated cases. Specifically, 28% of investigated cases last year were substantiated while only 18% of similar cases were substantiated in the previous year (2010).
One advocate summarized the finding by noting that “these are very disturbing statistics, and they reinforce the fact that we’ve got to get serious about elder abuse in nursing homes…”
The data is part of a report released by the state’s health and family services department. All told, in 2011 there were more than 2,000 reported cases of nursing home abuse and neglect which were actually investigated by social workers. Those investigations took place in nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and similar locations. Nearly 600 cases of abuse were uncovered. Of course, this represents only a fraction of the mistreatment that actually occurs, because studies show that the vast majority of elder abuse is never reported. Most seniors suffer in silence.
Even though identified cases of abuse went up nearly 60% in one year, the figure may be a result of better education and recognition of elder mistreatment. In the past there was little formal means by which those in a position to uncover this problem were taught about it. Fortunately, more resources are now being steered to the problem, which may result in more cases of abuse identified that would otherwise fly under the radar.
In addition, the state recently enacted a mandatory reporting law, which requires various individuals to step up and report suspected problems.
Report Elder Abuse
No senior can be helped if those around them remain silent about their neglect and abuse concerns. We continue to urge all local community members to be vigilant and take a stand against this form of mistreatment. Contact the proper authorities if you feel someone is being abused or was hurt as a result of caregiver negligence. It is only then that we can truly tackle the overall problem and improve the lives of millions of seniors across the country.
In our area, Illinois nursing home neglect and abuse lawsuits might be appropriate to hold facilities accountable for poor care. Not only do the lawsuits provide redress for residents and their families, but the lawsuit also can spur facility-wide changes. Staffing levels and safety protocols often improve after successful legal actions.
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