When loved ones—or their family members—decide to go to live in a nursing home, they expect a safe environment. Most nursing homes care about the safety and health of their residents; however, in some cases, this is not the case. And while individuals are more likely to experience abuse as they age, the rates of abuse are higher for seniors who live in a nursing home. Because of this, it is important to recognize the signs of abuse in nursing homes and report suspected abuse as soon as possible.
According to a recent news report, a nurse at a health and rehabilitation center was accused of assaulting two residents. According to the criminal complaint, the nurse was in the room alone with the two elderly residents and sexually abused them. At least one of the residents reported that she was initially afraid to speak up because she thought she might be retaliated against—which would make her life at the nursing home that much worse. The nurse is facing charges of aggravated indecent assault without consent, indecent assault without consent, neglect of care of a dependent person, and abuse of care.
Unfortunately, elder abuse is somewhat common. According to facts and statistics published by the National Association of Nursing Home Attorneys, an estimated 5 million seniors are abused each year. And this abuse is more prevalent in nursing homes: 36% of nursing home residents witnessed abuse of another resident within the previous year. This abuse may include psychological abuse, financial exploitation, neglect, physical abuse, and sexual abuse.
Many people wonder about the cause of nursing home abuse as well. In many cases, this abuse occurs because the facilities are understaffed, or the staff has been poorly trained. This leads to failing to provide proper care to each resident. 90% of nursing homes do not have the recommended number of staff on hand. In certain situations, this means a nursing home aide may be taking care of 30 residents at a time, over five times the suggested amount.
How Common is Sexual Assualt in Nursing Homes?
Unfortunately, many incidents of nursing home sexual abuse are swept under the rug: only 1 in 14 cases of abuse are reported. In many cases, victims do not report due to fear of retaliation, embarrassment, or a lack of awareness of what has occurred.
Nursing home abuse can be extremely dangerous and damaging; therefore, individuals who suspect their loved ones have been abused at a nursing facility should contact the authorities and an experienced attorney as soon as possible.
Has Your Loved One Suffered Abuse or Neglect at a Nursing Home?
If you believe your loved one has suffered abuse at a Maryland nursing home, contact the attorneys at Lebowitz & Mzhen. We understand how important these cases are to our clients and their loved ones, and our attorneys will fight to get you the compensation and justice that you deserve. Our office also handles lawsuits involving products liability, car collisions, medical malpractice, and other types of personal injury claims. To schedule a free initial consultation with an attorney from our office, give us a call at 800-654-1949 today.