Older Americans are among the easiest targets for abuse. Nursing home abuse is a real and growing issue as America is increasingly becoming an aging nation. The U.S. Census Bureau expects that “By 2030, all baby boomers will be older than age 65. This will expand the size of the older population so that 1 in every 5 residents will be retirement age.” (Census.gov)
Although states recognize elder-abuse as a growing issue, many are not fighting hard enough to stop it. WalletHub compared the 50 states and DC and ranked how we are doing at preventing elder-abuse, with #1 being the best, and #51 being the worst. Unfortunately, South Carolina came in 50th place.
Per the WalletHub study, here is the data for SC:
Nursing Home Abuse Protections in South Carolina (1=Best; 51=Worst.):
50th – Overall Rank
49th – Prevalence (Elder-Abuse, Gross-Neglect & Exploitation Complaints)
26th – Resources (Expenditures on elder-abuse prevention and Long-term care ombudsmen-program funding)
33rd – Protection (Eldercare organizations & services, Certified volunteer ombudsmen,
and Nursing-homes quality)
*Per resident aged 65+
What Constitutes Nursing Home Abuse?
- Physical Abuse
- Sexual Abuse
- Emotional Abuse
- Financial/Material Exploitation
What are the Warning Signs of Nursing Home Abuse?
- “Physical abuse, neglect, or mistreatment: Bruises, pressure marks, broken bones, abrasions, burns
- Emotional abuse: Unexplained withdrawal from normal activities, a sudden change in alertness, or unusual depression; strained or tense relationships; frequent arguments between the caregiver and older adult
- Financial abuse: Sudden changes in financial situations
- Neglect: Bedsores, unattended medical needs, poor hygiene, unusual weight loss
- Verbal or emotional abuse: Belittling, threats, or other uses of power and control by individuals”
How Can the Elderly Prevent being Abused?
- Take care of your health.
- Seek professional help for drug and alcohol abuse, and depression concerns. Urge family members to get help for these issues as well.
- Plan for your own future: A power or attorney or living will help you address health care decisions in advance, to avoid family problems and/or confusion later.
- Stay active; stay connected with family and friends to decrease social isolation.
- Post and open your own mail.
- Do not give personal information over the phone.
- Use direct deposit for any checks you receive.
- Have your own phone.
- Make sure your will is up to date.
- Know your rights.
For more information: ACL.gov.
CONTACT DAVID L. HOOD IF YOU SUSPECT YOUR ELDERLY LOVED ONE IS BEING ABUSED
If your elderly loved one lives in a nursing home and you suspect abuse, or if you suspect abuse by another caregiver, please schedule a free consultation with attorney David L. Hood by calling (843) 491-6025 or filling out our brief online contact form
We know how difficult it can be to deal with elder abuse and the untold pain and suffering it causes. At the Law Offices of David L. Hood, we work hard to protect your rights and make things simple for you and your family. After a free case evaluation, attorney David L. Hood, co-counsel, and our team of experts will vigorously pursue your case to get you the best result we can achieve. Let us put years of experience to work for you!
*Clients are not liable for any expenses unless there is a recovery in their case; however, if there is a recovery in their case, clients will be liable for expenses. Attorney’s fees are based on a percentage of the recovery, which will be computed before deducting expenses.
Other online resources used for this article: