I’m sure your Christmas checklist is long already – and you’re probably busy with your holiday preparations, but add this to your Christmas checklist: “Visit my mom/dad, grandma/grandpa in a nursing home.”
By doing so, you can protect your loved one from elder abuse, which is usually on the rise during the holiday season. Our Cooper City elder abuse attorneys explain why cases of elder abuse rise sharply at this time of year.
While a one-time visit for Christmas is not going to eliminate all factors contributing to elder abuse in nursing homes, it can substantially decrease the risk of your mom, dad, grandmother or grandfather getting mistreated or even injured as a result of elder abuse.
Elder abuse is no joke (and statistics back it up)
Statistics show that the older adult population is going to more than double over the next two decades.
Fact: America’s 65-and-older population is projected to reach 83.7 million in 2050.
And while one may immediately think, “Oh, wow, it looks like Santa Barbara and other California counties will need to build so many more nursing homes,” our lawyers think, “Well, elder abuse attorneys will get a lot busier in the next decades.”
Believe it or not, elder abuse in nursing homes is no joke. Undercover investigations of retirement facilities in the U.S. shows that nearly 10% of all of our nation’s nursing homes had documented elder abuse cases involving serious injury and even death caused by mistreatment (not to mention all other elder abuse incidents that go underreported).
Fact: over 40% of all elderly residents in nursing homes have reported elder abuse (and another over 90% have witnessed other elderly residents being abused).
Types of elder abuse at nursing homes (watch out for those!)
While this statistic is not meant to cause self-loathing in people who place their parents or grandparents in nursing homes, it’s supposed to serve as a warning: visit your loved ones in retirement facilities more often and check up on them.
Here at the Law Offices of Bradley S. Hartman, our best elder abuse lawyers in Cooper City have witnessed all kinds of deplorable and disturbing types of elder abuse, but the most common are:
- Physical abuse
- Sexual abuse
- Emotional abuse
- Passive neglect
- Willful deprivation
- Financial exploitation
How to stop elder abuse in nursing homes?
Be warned, however, that even if you ask your parent or grandparent outright, “Are you being abused in any way?” he/she may not tell you the truth out of fear of retaliation (and other reasons), or they may not be aware that elder abuse takes place (even if it does).
If you truly care about your older family members, it’s highly advised to (1) hire an elder abuse attorney to investigate the nursing home and check for prior history of elder abuse before putting your parents or grandparents there, and (2) visit your loved ones more often to check if they are being treated with care and respect.
Our Cooper City elder abuse lawyers outline signs of elder abuse that you may notice in your parent or grandparent:
1. Altered behavior.
2. Weight swings. (or rapid weight loss/weight gain)
3. Dramatic changes in cleanliness.
4. Other noticeable changes.
In many cases, however, you may not notice any changes in your loved ones even if they are being abused in the nursing home. That’s why it’s highly advised to seek the legal advice of an experienced elder abuse lawyer who’d interview other residents of the facility and conduct a thorough review of its practices and standards of care.
By not visiting your loved ones during the holidays, the risk of your family members being abused in nursing homes skyrockets due to lack of staff at this time of year, high stress levels, the facility giving more shifts to untrained and unpaid staffers to let their main staff take time off for the holidays, and other factors.
Here at Law Offices of Bradley S. Hartman, we believe that any child and grandchild has a duty to make sure that their parents and grandparents are safe, loved and well cared for.