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Five million Americans exposed to elder abuse every year

Families from New Mexico keep their elders in nursing homes in order to ensure that their needs are properly taken care of in the best possible manner. However, elder abuse remains a matter of concern throughout the country. Those who supported their families and made tremendous contributions to the country can be neglected and abused when they get old. Also, many elders may not feel comfortable disclosing the details of their abuse, which may be physical, verbal or sexual in nature to their loved ones which adds to their agony.

Some reports suggest that nursing home neglect causes bedsores, broken bones and brain injuries to some elders, while others state that some nursing home staff members strike the residents. Some nursing homes even employ untrained staff to take care of their senior citizens. Family members may notice the signs of abuse when they visit their loved ones.

According to the Department of Health and Human Services, five million Americans are affected by elder abuse every year. A more alarming fact is that for every elder abuse case that is reported, 23 more are not. Authorities are taking various actions to initiate public awareness and provide more support for caregivers of the elderly. Civil legal aid attorneys, who represent older clients, have also been offered a new training program by the Department of Justice. And now some states have made it mandatory to report any incidence of elder abuse, just like child abuse.

While it may take some time for the authorities to ensure that the elderly are not abused in any nursing home, family members that notice any signs of abuse may take action against the nursing home. These families may choose to file a lawsuit against the nursing home in order to ensure that the nursing home and its employees are held liable for any abuse against their loved one.

Source: Pacific Standard, "The Fight for Elder Rights," Lauren Kirchner, July 15, 2014

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