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Preventing Nursing Home Abuse & Negligence

The National Center on Elder Abuse has reported that more than 2.5 million elderly persons are victims of maltreatment annually. This maltreatment can range from neglect to abuse. The National Center on Elder Abuse estimates that of all maltreatment, 15.7% is physical abuse, 0.04% is sexual abuse, 7.3% is emotional abuse, 58.5% is neglect, 12.3% is financial exploitation, 12.3% consists of other types of maltreatment, and 5.1% is and 0.06% is an unknown type of maltreatment. These statistics are a cause for concern, since the maltreatment that is most likely to be overlooked is also the most common form of abuse.

While physical abuse leaved physical evidence that loved ones may notice, many others kinds of maltreatment – including neglect and emotional abuse – leave few clues. While there may be few outward signs of abuse or neglect, though, The National Center on Elder Abuse reports that the effects of abuse and negligence can be far more harmful for the elderly. Elderly residents in facilities may feel more isolated than a younger generation with an active social life, and this can make it harder for the elderly to get emotional support and help for the abuse they have suffered. The elderly have bones that break more easily and take longer to heal, making any accidents or abuse very traumatic. Finally, the elderly are often on a limited budget and may not be able to easily save or recover financially from financial abuse.

According to The National Center on Elder Abuse, there are a number of factors that can make the elderly especially vulnerable to neglect and abuse:

*Dependence on caregivers.
*Problems with mobility can lead to lack of access to services and courts
*Fears of losing independence. Many people would rather not report a crime rather than be seen as frail and therefore subject to increased dependence.
*Lack of awareness about rights and supportive services.
*Distrust of help and support.
*Sense of helplessness. Unfortunately, some victims feel that there is nothing they can do and nowhere they can turn to for help.

One of the best ways to ensure that abuse and neglect do not occur is to choose facilities carefully and to observe care closely. Abused or neglected residents may seem withdrawn, may lose weight, and may not be washed regularly. Careful monitoring and a working relationship with the facility can help ensure good quality care.

Another good way to prevent nursing home abuse and neglect is to contact a good Florida lawyer if you do suspect that abuse is taking place. A good Florida attorney can get you the answers you need and can look into allegations for you. If abuse or neglect is occurring, Florida attorneys can put a stop to the abuse and can ensure that the guilty parties are not allowed to hurt other elderly residents in the future. Call The Law Offices of Flaxman & Lopez at 1- 800-535-2962 (1 800 5 FLAXMAN) for a free, no obligation consultation to discuss your legal options.