Understanding elder abuse and when to report problems

When families in Kentucky make the difficult decision to put their elderly loved on in a nursing home facility, they place a considerable amount of trust in the staff members to provide compassionate and loyal care. While many nursing homes make it their number one priority to create a comfortable and safe environment for their residents, there are others who are careless and neglect patients which result in unnecessary injuries. 

According to the National Council on Aging, nearly 5 million elderly people experience some type of abuse each year. Shockingly, many cases are not reported to authorities. Elder abuse can occur in a variety of ways including the following:

  • Confinement
  • Financial exploitation
  • Sexual, physical or emotional abuse
  • Deprivation
  • Neglect

One study reported that elderly individuals who suffer abuse of any kind are at a significantly higher rate, approximately 300 percent higher, than those who are compassionately cared for and not abused in any way. 

Courier & Press says people should report their concerns to the proper authorities only after careful consideration of suspicious behaviors. Staff members should be notified if medicines are not given on time, personal care is neglected, residents complain of unkind staff, food is late or cold, or possessions are missing. When concerned family members voice their worries to facility staff, they should not be the victim of any retaliation. Respectful consideration should be taken and family members should notice a positive change in the treatment of their loved one. Because elderly people are vulnerable and unable to speak for themselves at times, it is imperative that family members immediately report any questionable behavior to the right people.  

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