The New York State Elder Abuse Prevalence Study reported that in 2011, 141 out of every 1,000 older New Yorkers have experienced elder abuse since their 60th birthday. That’s an astounding 14.1% Even more disconcerting is the likelihood that those numbers are significantly understated. The Prevalence Study suggested that for every abuse or neglect case disclosed to a program or agency, another 24 cases went undetected or unreported.
Nationally, recent studies from the National Center on Elder Abuse reported that between 7.6% and 10% of study participants had experienced abuse in the previous year. The message is clear; nursing home neglect and abuse are very real problems.
The stories are heartbreaking, and there is no end in sight. The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that by 2050, 20% of our population will consist of people age 65 and older. Unless we send a strong message to the perpetrators, cases of elder abuse and neglect are bound to rise exponentially.
The New York Health Department offers some very good tools and resources to guide you through everything from understanding patient rights and filing a complaint to evaluating nursing homes. On the site, you will find:
State survey results
Comparisons of facility deficiencies against state averages
Statistics on the number and type of complaints filed
Performance in key quality measures.
As you look after your loved one, remember that victims of nursing home neglect and abuse are often unable to communicate what is happening or unwilling due to fear of retribution. We encourage vigilance in watching for signs of potential abuse.
If someone you love has been a victim of nursing home neglect or abuse, we’re here to help. Please contact us with questions or to set up a consultation.