With the holidays fully upon us, many families are making plans to gather to celebrate the season. For those of us with loved ones in nursing homes, it also is likely you are planning a visit for the holidays. These visits are important both for family bonding and catching up, but also as an opportunity to ensure that our seniors are remaining safe, well taken care of, and looked after by the staff in nursing homes.
Unfortunately, even during a joyous and cheery holiday period, nursing home abuse continues to be a major issue—and Maryland residents are no stranger to these challenges. Regardless of the season, nursing home abuse affects thousands of families in each year. With as many as five million seniors affected by elder abuse every year, it is crucial that holiday visits are rich in family time, but also in ensuring that your loved ones are not experiencing any type of abuse at the hands of other residents, family members, or nursing home staff.
Being proactive during nursing home visits can sometimes be challenging, especially if you do not know what exactly to look for. It is crucial to understand who is at risk and who the common perpetrators of abuse are.
Among seniors who live in assisted living facilities, there are various groups of seniors who may be more susceptible to abuse. For example, women are more likely to be abused than men, and a recent study found that nearly 66 percent of elder abuse victims were women. Researchers have also identified a link between lower socioeconomic status and elder abuse, with seniors who rely on Medicaid or financial assistance for nursing home care ending up in facilities that may be poorly staffed or provide lower-quality care.
Abuse is often inflicted by different groups of people, but other family members and nursing home staff are the most common. Relatives often account for six out of every ten cases involving elder abuse, and in 66 percent of these cases, the spouse or adult child is the perpetrator of abuse. Nursing home staff members who are overworked and understaffed also may take out their frustrations on elderly residents. In a 2020 study, the WHO found that more than 64 percent of nursing home staff members and caretakers admitted to committing some form of abuse or neglect.
While visiting your loved ones this holiday, it is important to also lookout for signs of poor quality care in their living environment, signs of social isolation or neglect, and clues that the facility may provide into potential abuses. This holiday season, take the time to visit and connect with your family and loved ones—but also to ensure that they are being properly cared for after your visit.
Do You Need a Maryland Elder Abuse Attorney?
If you or someone you love has recently experienced elder abuse or neglect in Maryland, contact the attorneys at Lebowitz & Mzhen today for assistance. Our lawyers have years of experience representing clients in all types of personal injury and similar abuse claims and will provide you with the expertise you need to pursue your lawsuit with ease. To schedule a free initial consultation, contact us at 800-654-1949.