The number of adults ages 50 and older in the United States is expected to topple over 132 million by the year 2020. This represents 20% of the total population. The combination of baby boomers reaching their senior years and people living longer than ever due to advancements in medicine has resulted in this sudden surge of older adults in our society.
As people age, their medical needs become more complex. Nine out of every ten seniors today are suffering from at least one chronic condition. Seniors account for one out of every four doctor visits and one out of every two hospital stays. They take one out of every three prescriptions and account for nine out of every ten nursing home stays.
Older adults with complex, chronic medical conditions require additional medical care that treats their physical, cognitive, behavioral, and emotional well-being. But, there are obstacles to providing quality geriatric care, including an insufficient number of nursing home beds and a shortage of nursing home staff. As a result of these pressures and stressors, many caregivers whom we trust to take care of our loved ones neglect their patients.
But, not all abuse that is occurring in nursing homes is physical, or even obvious to others. Many who are neglected, or whose care has been postponed due to a staffing shortage become dehydrated or develop bedsores. These symptoms further complicated their already complex chronic conditions. Other nursing home residents are mentally or emotionally abused to the point that their mental health is compromised and may later develop into long-term physical abuse.
The prevalence of elder abuse in nursing homes may be higher than you think and is resulting in more deaths than ever before. Studies show that the likelihood of a resident dying in a nursing home increases by 300% when that resident has been emotionally or physically abused.
If you suspect your loved one is receiving inadequate care in their nursing home facility or is being abused, give us a call. We will fight to protect those you love.