New Jersey Elder Abuse – A Fast-Growing Elderly Demographic Means Heightened Risk
Most nursing homes provide professional, effective care for our aging loved ones. However, considering the vulnerability of elderly nursing home residents, the risk of abuse or neglect is an ever-present concern. With the number of elderly on the rise and nursing home budgets increasingly stretched thin, vigilance for signs of mistreatment is becoming especially important.
Why Are the Elderly at Risk?
Nursing home residents must rely on caregivers to help them meet day-to-day needs. Unfortunately, this reliance can make them a target for abuse.
Due to physical or mental disabilities, many older Americans are unable to resist or report nursing home abuse. Even if physically able to do so, shame or fear of retaliation from those they depend on can prevent nursing home residents from speaking up about abuse.
More Cases of Nursing Home Neglect and Abuse Expected in Coming Years
According to a report from the Department of Health and Human Services, 17 percent of U.S. nursing homes were cited in 2007 for regulatory infractions that either directly caused harm to residents or put residents in immediate jeopardy of harm. As baby boomers officially enter the senior citizen age group, that number is expected to go nowhere but up.
Since 2000, the 65-plus age group has grown by over 15 percent due to demographic shifts and the fact that Americans are living longer (thanks to medical advances, the number of people who live to age 90 and beyond is already on the rise and is projected to quadruple by 2050). This increase in the elderly population combined with the stagnant economy means that many caregivers are being forced to do more with less.
Even for well-meaning nursing home employees, harmful oversights are distinctly possible in light of mounting job responsibilities. The risk of bedsores, dehydration, malnutrition, and falls is particularly acute in overcrowded facilities.
Remedies for Nursing Home Mistreatment in New Jersey
Although they present many challenges, the growing pressures on nursing home facilities are not an excuse for substandard care. With the help of nursing home neglect attorneys, victims and their families can, and should, help improve care by taking action against irresponsible caregivers.
The Elder Ombudsman Office is an agency of the New Jersey state government that investigates allegations of abuse and neglect of people age 60 and older. Writing, calling or emailing the Office of the Ombudsman is one way to shine a light on cases of possible elder abuse.
Free Consultation with Toms River NJ Elder Abuse Attorneys at Lombardi & Lombardi
To secure compensation directly from those responsible for nursing home abuse or neglect, victims or their families may wish to file a legal action. When an individual or facility provided negligent care that led to illness or injury, they may be forced to pay monetary damages to the victim.
If you suspect a loved one may be receiving substandard care in a nursing home, do not let them suffer in silence. Contact an attorney at Lombardi and Lombardi, P.A. today to discuss the best options for your loved one. We have convenient office locations in Edison, Freehold, and Brick.